instructional materials development, physics education research
[This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Curriculum Development: Theory into Design.] When we examined student responses to questions about the direction of the static friction force in various situations, we both had strong ideas about how to write a tutorial to promote deeper understanding. But our ideas were quite different. In this theoretical paper, we present the two contrasting tutorials and show how their differences can be traced to different theoretical orientations toward cognition and learning. We do not claim that one tutorial—or the theoretical framework loosely associated with it—is superior. Instead, we hope to illustrate two claims. One, we show in detail how curriculum designers’ cognitive “theories” (frameworks), even if largely tacit during the act of creation, shape the resulting tutorials. Two, we show how, at least for us, articulating and discussing our respective theoretical orientations and their influence on our tutorial writing enables a rethinking of long-standing tutorial-writing habits. We argue that instructional intuition—shaped by explicit and tacit theoretical assumptions—functions well in guiding the design of curriculum, as our contrasting tutorials illustrate; but more systematic attention to the underlying theoretical assumptions can productively inform refinements.
Physical Review Physics Education Research
Boudreaux, A., & Elby, A. (2020). How curriculum developers’ cognitive theories influence curriculum development. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 16(2), 020144. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.16.020144
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