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Teaching and learning physics A model for coordinating physics instruction outreach and research Noah D Finkelstein1 Abstract This paper describes the development of a new university physics course designed to integrate physics education research and community partnerships The coordinated system of activities links the new course to local community efforts in pre college education university education university outreach and research on teaching and learning As documented both by gains on conceptual surveys and by qualitative analyses of field notes and audiotapes of class the course facilitates student learning of physics as well as student mastery of theories and practices of teaching and learning physics Simultaneously the course supports university efforts in community outreach and creates a rich environment for education research The following narrative describes the motivation structure implementation effectiveness and potential for extending and sustaining this alternative model for university level science education Keywords physics education research outreach teaching service learning I Introduction The explicit mission of many large scale research universities includes three core elements the pursuit of excellence in research teaching and community service However since the mid twentieth century many universities have heavily emphasized research without equal commitment to teaching or community service Efforts directed at supporting high quality teaching at the university or pre college level and partnerships with the communities that house the universities are largely treated as separate and often non essential programs at these institutions of higher education This paper addresses the question of how such institutions might begin to coordinate these three seemingly disparate elements of the university mission into a single activity system that enhances all three The focal point of the coordinated system is a class entitled Teaching and Learning Physics



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