Learning from Physics Education Research: Lessons for Economics Education
Scott P. Simkins
North Carolina A&T State University
Mark H. Maier
Glendale Community College
June 27, 2008
We believe that economists have much to learn from educational research practices and related pedagogical innovations in other disciplines, in particular physics education. In this paper we identify three key features of physics education research that distinguish it from economics education research - (1) the intentional grounding of physics education research in learning science principles, (2) a shared conceptual research framework focused on how students learn physics concepts, and (3) a cumulative process of knowledge-building in the discipline - and describe their influence on new teaching pedagogies, instructional activities, and curricular design in physics education. In addition, we highlight four specific examples of successful pedagogical innovations drawn from physics education - context-rich problems, concept tests, just-in-time teaching, and interactive lecture demonstrations - and illustrate how these practices can be adapted for economic education.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: economic education, physics education research (PER), research-based teaching, preconceptions, metacognition, transfer, context-rich problems, peer instruction, just-in-time teaching, interactive lecture demonstration
JEL Classification: A2working papers series
Date posted: June 27, 2008 ; Last revised: July 20, 2008
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