Educating

Passing on what I’ve learned to others in a comprehensive way is very important to me. That means repeated interactions with another person on a specific topic. I’ve had many opportunities for this in the past.

I was an English instructor in Taiwan and then a volunteer English-as-a-second-language instructor in Columbus, Ohio, for a few years. Helping intermediate students work on the nuances of English grammar, word usage, and pronunciation was rewarding.

I’ve also been able to work with various students one-on-one over the years, first in English, later in physics and other subjects to help them when studying on their own was not enough.  I’ve been very happy to contract through Nurturing Wisdom since 2011 and spend some of my discretionary time to help students in physics, chemistry, math, and standardized test prep.

Beginning in graduate school, I had the opportunity to work with students learning physics. Watching students bringing together concepts and methods to successfully tackle problems has been inspiring. I’m still learning about the best ways to help students learn.

More recently, I have instructed physics laboratories for biological sciences majors at Benedictine University. My first year I familiarized myself with the curriculum of the laboratories and wrote quizzes (one example here). One feature I implemented  in my second round of leading these laboratories was a pre-test, mid-test, and post-test series to be explicit about the things I want the students to learn from the class (example post-test here).

At Ivy Tech Community College in Columbus, Indiana, I lead introductory physics courses for science and non-science majors as well as solar system astronomy. I worked to implement physics-education-research-based strategies of active, inquiry-based learning in all of my courses. In spring 2016, I moved the statewide physical science curriculum committee to add the Physics By Inquiry textbooks of University of Washington physics education group to the list of allowed texts for the conceptual-based introducotry physics course and the Tutorials in Introductory Physics homework and exercise books to the supplementary texts for the algebra- and calculus-based introductory physics sequences so they could be used starting in the fall. I am excited to apply the knowledge these curricula represent in the classrooms to augment the efforts I have already made.