A Scientific Approach to Science Education

3 May 2023.  Carl E Wieman, Stanford University
A scientific Approach to Science Education

On Wednesday the 3rd of May 2023 at 6.00 pm, Carl E Wieman of Stanford University will give an online seminar entitled A scientific Approach to Science Education in the College Lecture Theaatre.  Carl E Wieeman, a Nobel laureate in Phyiscs for the discovery of the Einstein-Bose condensates, has been a strong advocate for the development of new and more effective ways to teach science subjects and has contributed new and radical ideas to this important topic. The poster of the seminar is available here


Guided by experimental tests of theory and practice, science and engineering have advanced rapidly in the past 500 years.  Guided primarily by tradition and dogma, education in these subjects has remained largely medieval.  Recent research on how people learn, combined with careful experiments in university classrooms, is now revealing much more effective ways to teach and evaluate learning than is currently used in most classes.  I will discuss these results and what they tell us about principles of learning and their effective implementation in science courses.  This research is setting the stage for a new approach to teaching that can provide the relevant and effective science education for all students that is needed for the 21st century.  It also shows better ways to evaluate teaching quality.

Biographical Sketch
Carl Wieman is a Professor of Physics and Education at Stanford University. Wieman has done extensive experimental research in both atomic physics (Nobel Prize in physics 2001) and university science and engineering education (Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year 2004). He founded PhET, which provides online interactive simulations that are used 100 million times/year to learn science and recently published a book “Improving how universities teach science”. He is currently studying expertise and problem solving in science and engineering disciplines, and how this can be better measured and taught. Most recently, he is the recipient of the 2020 Yidan International Prize for Education Research.

Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman in their laboratory at Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysic in Boulder, Colorado at the time in which they conducted their research on the Einstein-Bose condensates.

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