AAPT_WM14program_final - page 88

Tuesday afternoon
Session GA: Stereotypes and the
Princess Threat
Location: Salon 3
Sponsor: Committee on Women in Physics
Date: Tuesday, January 7
Time: 12–1:20 p.m.
Presider: John Ertel
12-12:30 p.m. Attitudinal Shifts in Introductory
Physics Through an Equity Lens
Invited – Adrienne L. Traxler, Florida International University, Depart-
ment of Physics, Miami, FL 33199;
Previous studies have documented gender and ethnicity “gaps” in
grade or conceptual measures in introductory physics classes. The
nature, causes, and remedies of these performance differences is of
great interest to those attempting to improve the participation and
retention of traditionally underrepresented groups in the field. Recent
work at Florida International University found that women persis-
tently lag behind men in Force Concept Inventory gains and student
odds of success, even in reformed courses where both measures are
higher than in traditional lecture. Here, I extend that work along
the attitudinal dimension, reporting on six years of data from the
Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey. Data is taken from
traditional and reformed sections of introductory physics and disag-
gregated by gender and ethnic representation. I will discuss patterns
in student attitude shifts that tell a more ambiguous story than the
“gap” narrative often found for conceptual measures.
12:30-12:40 p.m. Preservice Teachers’ Knowledge
of Women’s Contributions to Physics
Contributed – Jill A. Marshall, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University
Station, Austin, TX 78703-2821;
Despite their underrepresentation in the field, particularly in profes-
sional positions, women have made critical contributions to physics.
Still, previous studies have shown that many physics teachers and stu-
dents are unable to name a woman physicist other than Marie Curie
and describe her work in any detail. This presents an equity issue, as
access to role models has been shown to mediate access to careers. To
remedy this, efforts are under way to create an article pack on women
in physics from
The Physics Teacher
and the
American Journal of Phys-
as a resource for physics teachers. To evaluate the need for such a
resource, I administered an assessment of knowledge of the contribu-
tions of women in physics to preservice secondary STEM education
teachers, many of whom will ultimately teach physics. The results are
compared with a prior survey of preservice elementary teachers and
general education students.
12:40-12:50 p.m. Strategies for Identifying and
Teaching Gifted Students in Physics and Astronomy
Contributed – Alice M. Hawthorne, Allen Concord University, Athens, WV
Gifted students in K-12 education become many of the students in
our physics classrooms, but our training for university faculty posi-
tions contains little to no guidance on how to best teach and address
their educational needs. Just based on population statistics and self-
selection for additional education, all college classes are bound to have
a gifted population regardless of institution and admissions selectivity,
and independent of whether the students are identified as such. Re-
cent research has also identified additional twice-exceptional students
(i.e. individuals who are both gifted and have other special needs)
where their exceptionalities mask each other and lead the student to
not stand out academically. The extreme variability amongst gifted
individuals makes teaching them an exceptional challenge. However,
there are common characteristics that can be identified and teaching
strategies that are successful in connecting with these students. These
characteristics and strategies will be addressed in this talk.
12:50-1:20 p.m. Why Aren’t They Here?: The
Impacts of Society’s and Physics’ Cultures on
Women’s Participation in Physics
Invited – Ramon S. Barthelemy, Western Michigan University, Kalama-
zoo, MI 49007;
Melinda McCormick, Western Michigan University
The issue of women in physics has been an important conversation in
recent years when considering physics education. One aspect of this
issue is not only the culture of physics, but also the culture of society
at large. This talk will uncover the pressures of society that women ex-
perience juxtaposed with the culture of physics. It will be argued that
women are both pushed away from physics by the culture of society at
large and the micro-culture within physics. Points of discussion will
include women in the media, the extreme competitiveness of physics,
the conformity of physicists, and more.
Session GB: The “Maturing” Field
of PER and Its Associate
Location: Salon 5
Sponsor: Committee on Research in Physics Education
Co-Sponsor: Committee on Professional Concerns
Date: Tuesday, January 7
Time: 12–1:30 p.m.
Presider: Laura McCollough
12-12:30 p.m. Graduate Students in PER: Demo-
graphics, Trajectory, and Climate Experiences
Invited – Ramon Barthelemy, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo,
MI 49007;
Ben Van Dusen, University of Colorado Boulder
Charles Henderson, Western Michigan University
PER is a new and rapidly growing research subfield of physics. Gradu-
ate programs have begun to establish PhD programs in PER within
departments of physics and schools of education. However, little
research has been conducted exploring the experiences and pathways
of graduate students into PER. This talk will present qualitative and
quantitative data on the experiences and educational pathways of
graduate students in PER. Preliminary data suggests that less than half
of PER graduate students intend to specialize in PER at the beginning
of graduate school and, instead, switch into the field. This suggests
that not enough undergraduate students are aware of PER. Addition-
ally, it was found the students in PER experience a positive national
community that affects their persistence in the field.
12:30-1 p.m. The Growing Structure(s) of PER
Invited – Michael C. Wittmann, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-
The field of physics education research (PER) has changed in many
ways since I joined it in the mid 90s. We have specialized conferences
(PERC and FFPER), specialized journals (the PER section of AJP and
Phys Rev), and organizational structures focused on our interests
and needs (the PER Topical Group and PERLOC). The funding op-
portunities have changed (NSF, PhysTEC, and much more), and our
interactions have, as well (Facebook, PERticles, and blogging). In this
talk, I reflect on the changes in the community, mostly as a storyteller,
and speculate on where we might be headed next. With broader goals
and richer interactions, we’re asking meaningful questions that the
community wasn’t asking even a decade ago. What comes next? Who
knows, but it’ll be fun.
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