Examining Physics Identity in Laboratory Settings Through Survey Development

Authors: 

Kelsey Funkhouser, Vashti Sawtelle, Danny Caballero

There is an abundance of work showing that students generally do not have positive views of physics. Physics lecture courses can even make those views worse. One tool for improving student experiences is to incorporate authentic science practices. Laboratory courses are intended to be an opportunity for students to engage in scientific practices that reflect the things a practicing Physicist would do. We are developing a survey that can be used to systematically determine students’ views toward physics and where they position themselves with respect to physics. How someone views themselves with respect to physics is defined as their physics identity. Using the communities of practice framework we are working to measure how students’ physics identities are affected by physics laboratory courses.

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