Overview

Indicates a research-demonstrated benefit

Overview

Minds-On Physics is an activity-based curriculum for high school physics, helping students to explore basic concepts; hone and link concepts; develop analysis and reasoning skills; learn to apply concepts in problem-solving situations (and avoid rote procedures); and organize knowledge so that it is generally useful. A brief Student Reader summarizes ideas from groups of activities, about 1 page of reading per activity at the beginning of the year and 2 pages per activity at the end.

Type of Method Full curriculum
Level Designed for: High SchoolReferences coming soon
Can be adapted for: Teacher Preparation, Teacher Professional Development, Middle School, Intro College Calculus-based, Intro College Algebra-based, Intro College Conceptual
Setting Designed for: Lecture - Small (<30 students)References coming soon
Can be adapted for: Lecture - Large (30+ students), Recitation/Discussion Session, Lab
Coverage Few topics with great depth
Topics Mechanics, Electricity / Magnetism, Waves / Optics, Thermal / Statistical
Instructor Effort Medium
Resource Needs Lab equipment for student use - simple, Tables arranged for group work
Skills Designed for: Problem-solving skillsReferences coming soon, Conceptual understanding of physics contentReferences coming soon, Connecting conceptual and mathematical understandingReferences coming soon, Coherent framework for physicsReferences coming soon, Reflecting on one's own learningReferences coming soon, Representing knowledge in multiple waysReferences coming soon, Think like a scientist
Can be adapted for: Understanding how physics relates to the real world, Self-confidence around physics, Enjoyment of physics, Laboratory skills, Designing experiments, Creativity, Autonomy
Research Validation Based on research into: how students learnReferences coming soon, student ideas about specific topicsReferences coming soon, research on expert-novice thinking
Demonstrated to improve: scores on multiple choice conceptual testsReferences coming soon, scores on written conceptual testsReferences coming soon, metacognitive skillsReferences coming soon
Studied using: conceptual pre/post examsReferences coming soon, problem-solving pre/post examsReferences coming soon, student interviewsReferences coming soon, classroom observationsReferences coming soon, video of studentsReferences coming soon, analysis of written workReferences coming soon, research conducted at multiple institutionsReferences coming soon, research conducted by someone other than developersReferences coming soon
Compatible Methods Peer Instruction, PhET, JiTT, CGPS, Physlets, SCALE-UP, Modeling, OSP, TEFA, Clickers
Similar Method None
Developer(s) William J. Gerace, Jose P. Mestre, Robert J. Dufresne, and William J. Leonard
Website http://www.srri.umass.edu/mop