APS News

Northwest Section Revisited

Addendum

Leading members of the Northwest Section. From left to right are: Yogi Gupta, Erich Vogt, Ernie Henley, Mary Alberg, David Measday. Photo by Dave Hendrie
Leading members of the Northwest Section. From left to right are: Yogi Gupta, Erich Vogt, Ernie Henley, Mary Alberg, David Measday. Photo by Dave Hendrie

In the article on the first meeting of the APS Northwest Section (APS News, July 1999), we inadvertently omitted a fifth invited talk at the special session on education organized by Lillian C. McDermott (University of Washington). In her talk, Paula Heron of the University of Washington focused on the use of research on the learning and teaching of physics as a guide to improving instruction. "There is by now ample evidence that many students emerge from traditional introductory physics courses without having developed a functional understanding of some basic topics," she said, "but it is important to recognize that even innovative instructional approaches can fail to engage students at a sufficiently deep level for real understanding to develop." Heron used illustrative examples of student difficulties with the equilibrium of rigid bodies in introductory college physics and engineering courses. "There is a need for continued deep and detailed research on student understanding of specific topics to inform the development and assessment of curriculum," she concluded.


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