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Re: [Phys-L] Oersted Medal 2013

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John Denker (2013) called attention to the recent Oersted Medal Award [AAPT (2012)] to Edward F. (Joe) Redish <> at the New Orleans AAPT (2013) meeting and to Joe's talk "The "Implications of a Theoretical Framework for Physics Education Research" [Redish (2013)]. The abstract reads [my CAPS]:

"Much of PER focuses on how to teach physics more successfully. But for many of us, our interest in PER is 'curiosity driven.' PER lets us apply our scientific skills to a new field, one that plays a pivotal role in the construction and evolution of our profession. It permits us to study such intellectually engaging questions as, 'What does it mean to understand something in physics?' and, 'What skills and competencies do we want our students to learn from our physics classes?' To address questions like these we need to do more than observe student difficulties and build curriculum. WE NEED A THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK- a structure for talking about, making sense of, and modeling how one thinks about, learns, and understands physics. This necessarily involves us in the complex and subtle issues of mind and society. In this talk I will outline the *Resources Framework*, a way of creating a phenomenology of physics learning that ties closely to modern developments about how people think and learn from research in NEUROSCIENCE, PSYCHOLOGY, AND LINGUISTICS."

Hats off to Joe on his Oersted Award!
A theory of PER is what he works toward -
With neuro, psych, and linguistics,
All a part of his heuristics,
He provides understanding that's all aboveboard!

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Links to Articles: <>
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Academia: <>
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" . . . . . . those of us in physics know well that advancement in science is a continual dance between the partners of theory and experiment, first one leading, then the other. It is not sufficient to collect data into a 'wizard's book' of everything that happens. That's not science. Neither is it science to spout high-blown theories untainted by 'reality checks.' Science must build a clear and coherent picture of what is happening at the same time as it continually confirms and calibrates that picture against the real world."
Joe Redish (2003, p. 15)

REFERENCES [All URL's shortened by <> and accessed on 08 Jan 2013.] AAPT. 2012. "Oersted Medal: The Oersted Medal recognizes those who have had an outstanding, widespread, and lasting impact on the teaching of physics." Lists award winners, 1936 - 2012; online at <>.

AAPT. 2013. Oersted Medal Award to Joe Redish, page 18 of the New Orleans AAPT program at <> (10.1 MB).

Denker, J. 2013. "Oersted Medal 2013," online on the CLOSED! PhysLrnR archives at <>. Post of 5 Jan 2013 14:31:34-0700 to PhysLrnR. Denker's post initiated a 10-post PhysLrnR thread at <>. To access the archives of PhysLnR one needs to subscribe : - (, but that takes only a few minutes by clicking on <> and then clicking on "Join or Leave PHYSLRNR-LIST." If you're busy, then subscribe using the "NOMAIL" option under "Miscellaneous." Then, as a subscriber, you may access the archives and/or post messages at any time, while receiving NO MAIL from the list!

Redish, E.F. 2003. "Teaching Physics With the Physics Suite", John Wiley, online at <>. Note the crucial correction of Fig. 5.2 and its caption on page 100.

Redish, E.F. 2013. "The Implications of a Theoretical Framework for Physics Education Research." Oersted Award Address; an abstract is online on page 47 of the New Orleans AAPT program at <> (10.1 MB).. The complete talk is online as a 946 kB pdf at <>.