ERIC Number: ED442726
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Apr-28
Sociophysics Norms in an Innovative Physics Learning Environment.
Successful course reforms rely on the development of courses that support productive patterns of classroom interaction. Particularly in the case of inquiry-based classes, the ways that students talk to each other and how they interpret the instructor's actions can make great differences in their learning. This paper describes results of research on patterns of social interactions in a college physics course for prospective elementary teachers. Students in this course developed physics concepts for themselves with support from particular pedagogical structures, collaborative group work, and special computer software. Data consisted of videotapes of class work, interviews, and collections of students' work. The paper extends Yackel and Cobb's "sociomathematical" norms (1996) to the fields of physics, and introduces two "sociophysics norms" that emerged in the course. These were class criteria for accepting evidence and the obligation for each group to have a scientific model of magnetic materials that they could support with acceptable evidence. Implications of this study are that classroom norms seem to be influenced by the instructor, by pedagogical structures, and by students' actions, and that the development of norms seems to be part of the process of developing understanding. (Contains 4 figures and 11 references.) (Author/BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 24-28, 2000).