TitleA Sensemaking Foundation for Paradigms in Physics at OSU
Publication TypePresentation
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsLenz, MacKenzie
Secondary AuthorsHahn, Kelby T.
Tertiary AuthorsGire, Elizabeth

Sensemaking is a skill valued in the physics classroom as it aids students and expert physicists in drawing connections between varying representations and concepts in order to make sense of what they are learning or teaching. To promote students’ use of sensemaking practices throughout The Paradigms in Physics program we designed a course to explicitly teach students sensemaking skills early in their physics curriculum, Techniques of Theoretical Mechanics. This course covers both classical mechanics and special relativity, giving students experience with sensemaking in two different contexts. By teaching sensemaking explicitly and early, students have a tool box of sensemaking skills to draw on when solving novel physics problems. In this poster we explain the different pedagogical strategies used in Theoretical Mechanics to expand students’ views about sensemaking and help them develop habits that persist throughout The Paradigms in Physics program.