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2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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Why Should I Learn This? Addressing Student Motivation with Relevant Professional Examples
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.2
  Time: 6:00 PM -6:45 PM
  Author: Laura Tucker, Harvard University
  Co-Author(s): Eric Mazur
  Abstract: Student learning hinges on motivation. [1] However, many students don't enter our classrooms knowing why learning physics has value, often asking, "Why should I learn this?" As instructors, we can help our students develop motivation. However, effectively conveying the power of physics principles and thinking is challenging, especially when directed at non-physics majors. Specific examples may not be readily available, and take time to research. Furthermore, testimonies from many individuals working in fields relevant to students can have more power than words from the instructor alone. Addressing this need, we have created a series of slides to be projected before lecture or used as handouts. These materials include profiles of professionals explaining how studying physics has helped them in their diverse careers. We hope to demonstrate relevance beyond the classroom of studying physics by providing answers from many relevant figures to the students? Questions about why learning physics is useful.
  Footnotes: [1] Ambrose, Susan, et. al. (2010). How Learning Works, 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching Sponsor: Eric Mazur
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