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Hugo Rossi Lecture – Charles Henderson (Apr 3)

Due to Covid-19 precautions, this event has been cancelled.



Physics education research in higher education: What can we learn from the top-cited papers in the Physical Review?

Charles Henderson, Western Michigan University

  • Friday, April 3, 2020



Physical Review Physics Education Research (PRPER) was established in 2005 to be the archival research journal for the growing body of knowledge produced by the physics education research community. In this talk I will use the top-cited papers from PRPER to highlight some important findings from Physics Education Research. For example, there is strong evidence that in typical physics courses many students do not learn the core concepts of the discipline; student beliefs about physics become less expert like; and there is a significant gender gap, with men outperforming women. Many research-based instructional strategies can improve student knowledge and some instructional strategies can improve student beliefs. However, implementation of these strategies is low because the field often uses ineffective dissemination strategies.





Charles Henderson, PhD, is a Professor at Western Michigan University (WMU) with a joint appointment between the Physics Department and the WMU Mallinson Institute for Science Education. He is the Director of the Mallinson Institute as well as co-founder and co-director of the WMU Center for Research on Instructional Change in Postsecondary Education (CRICPE). His research program focuses on understanding and promoting instructional change in higher education, with an emphasis on improving undergraduate STEM instruction. Dr. Henderson’s work has been supported by over $9M in external grants and has resulted in a many publications  He is a Fulbright Scholar and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Dr. Henderson is the senior editor for the journal Physical Review Physics Education Research and has served on two National Academy of Sciences Committees: Undergraduate Physics Education Research and Implementation, and Developing Indicators for Undergraduate STEM Education.