AAPT Abstract Archive

Abstract Information

  Session: Multi-Messenger Astronomy in the Age of GR and Gravitational Waves
  Paper Type: Invited
  Title: Unpacking General Relativity - Choosing Representations for Teaching Novice Learners
  Meeting: 2017 Summer Meeting: Cincinnati, Ohio
  Location: N/A
  Time: 10:00AM
  Author: Timothy Chambers,*, University of Michigan,
7342390757, timchamb@umich.edu
  Co-Author(s): Colin S Wallace, Edward E Prather
  Abstract: Teaching introductory astronomy is uniquely challenging; many students find the material interesting but lack the quantitative skills commonly associated with scientific thinking. Instructors must therefore find ways to engage these students in sophisticated and meaningful scientific reasoning that do not rely on mathematical formalism. One important way is thoughtful selection and construction of the representations used to both teach and assess astronomy content knowledge. In this talk we share our experiences teaching general relativity to Astro 101 students via modern, exciting topics such as exoplanet detection by gravitational microlensing. We have chosen and created pedagogical discipline representations of physical phenomena that our students can unpack and manipulate to engage in sophisticated, robust thinking about cutting-edge gravitational phenomena. We hope to encourage and support other instructors in considering how the theory of representations may be applied to their own teaching and curriculum.
  Footnotes: *Sponsored by Edward Prather
  Presentation: Chambers_AAPT2017_PDRtalk.pptx

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