Presentation on theme: "Case Studies in Physics Teaching ~ Based on the writings of Clyde Freeman Herreid, University at Buffalo, State University of NY ~"— Presentation transcript:
Case Studies in Physics Teaching ~ Based on the writings of Clyde Freeman Herreid, University at Buffalo, State University of NY ~
Case Study in Science Discussion designed for an end. A powerful way of achieving otherwise elusive goals of science teaching: –Understanding the nature of scientific knowledge –Understanding the values of scientists –Understanding the assumptions of science
A Case Study Starts with a narrative statement posing some sort of problem or dilemma that might or might not have a concise or acceptable solution. Continues thorough a series of questions that require critical thinking and might not have any generally agree-upon solution.
Conducting a Case Study Case study is drive by an issue or a difficult question the solution of which might result in disagreement. Assumes a strong ability to conduct successful classroom discussions. Herreid gives 12-pointers for bringing a case study to a successful conclusion.
Consider Student Preparation Should you wish students to prepare for the discussion, provide them with the case before the discussion. Background preparation might include such things as the following: –Contents from a prior class –Readings, including problem statement –Video or TV program
Write a Controversial Case Controversial cases more interesting Keep the case current Chose a case with relevance Keep the case description short Tell a story and include dialogue Create empathy for main character Case must have teaching function
Set the Scene for the Case After reading the case to or with the students, don’t plunge right in to the first question. Spend some time explaining the value of the case, it relevance, its implications, and applicability. Set social ground rules for good behavior - not all know them.
Pose a Good Initial Question Start by getting the facts of the case straight. Make certain that the issue or dilemma is clearly understood by students. Don’t ask for a conclusion at the outset; this will following only after a proper analysis of the case.
Involve as Many as Possible The more involved the students, the greater the likelihood they will both learn and remember. Ask questions of the uninvolved to get them involved. Use wait time appropriately. Restate question or rephrase it as appropriate, but do not answer it.
Ask Non-threatening Q’s Use “easy” questions to draw reticent students into the discussion. Avoid intimidation and derisive statements in response to student statement. Avoid letting students attack one another - attack ideas, not people. Restate rules of behavior as needed.
Control the Discussion Don’t let individuals dominate. Keep the discussion on track. Recite the key question periodically. Use wait time appropriately. See “How to Conduct a Discussion” - check out the PHY 310 syllabus.
Write Key Points on Board Emphasize key issues and concerns. Give importance to what students have been saying. Shows progress of the discussion. Provides a sense of structure.
Correct Factual Errors If students do not correct errors of fact, the the discussion leader should see that they are corrected. Best to point out contradictory evidence and let students draw their own conclusion. Otherwise, point out confusion that you have as an instructor. Opinions should not be “corrected.”
Structure the Discussion Sequence student thinking. Use focusing behavior as you ask your questions; avoid the use of funneling behavior. Move from divergent to convergent questions. Align questions to objectives. Manage time effectively.
Non-random Movement Body language can have an effect on a discussion. Find a “center” other than the teacher. Consider sitting down to “level the playing field” a bit. Acknowledge student contributions. Pay attention to what is being said.
Achieving Closure To achieve or not to achieve closure, that is the question. Pros of closure: –Students might not draw conclusions –Leader can summarize process Cons of closure: –Students continue to discuss –Non-closure more closely imitates life.
Practical Application Always have several case studies at the ready in the event that you have unplanned time and need a filler. Be certain to include case studies in your formal assessments.
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