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The Physics Education Group at the University of Washington conducts a coordinated program of research, curriculum development, and instruction to improve student learning in physics and physical science from kindergarten through graduate school.  The work of the group is guided by ongoing discipline-based research.  

The primary curricula developed by the group include Physics by Inquiry (Wiley and Sons) and Tutorials in Introductory Physics (Pearson Publishing).  Results from research are disseminated through journal articles, talks at various colleges and professional meetings (e.g., the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Physical Society, etc.), and in various workshops given by group members.

Recent news

Fri, November 6th

Paul Emigh will be taking a one-semester teaching position at Gonzaga University starting in January! He will be teaching second-quarter introductory physics lectures and labs, focusing on thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, and waves.

Wed, October 21st

Professor Peter Shaffer has recently been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society. Peter is being recognized "for contributions to the field of physics education research (PER) and to the development of research-based instructional materials that have led to improved learning in physics by undergraduates and K-12 teachers."

This is a great honor--congratulations, Peter!

Wed, October 21st

This quarter, we are pleased to welcome Molly Yue, a third-year Ph.D. student at East China Normal University. She has come as part of the Visiting International Student Internship & Training (VISIT) program at University of Washington and will stay for a whole year, from Sep. 2015 to Sep. 2016.

At her home university, Molly's research has mainly focused on high school physics teachers’ education, especially for the cultivation of pre-service and in-service high school physics teachers. She is very interested in the practice of educating teachers to teach physics by inquiry developed by the Physics Education Group.

Molly also had this to say: "After coming here, I cherish this opportunity and feel very happy I can attend the courses of Physics by Inquiry and other activities related with physics teaching. I think I will learn a lot during this visit with the Physics Education Group."

Welcome, Molly!

Tue, October 13th

In an exceptional display of teamwork scheduling, both Brian and Ryan mounted successful dissertation defenses in the same week this Summer. Brian has accepted a teaching position at a local community college and plans to continue his research in collaboration with the UW Physics Education Group. Ryan expects to be hired as a post-doctoral researcher here at UW so that he can also continue his research and mentoring projects.

Congratulations to Dr. Stephanik and Dr. Hazelton!

Tue, January 20th

Information regarding the Physics Education Group’s 2015 Summer Institute in Physics and Physical Science is now available online.  During the Institute K-12 inservice teachers will develop, through inquiry instruction, an in-depth understanding of concepts relevant to the grade levels and subjects they teach.  Their own learning experiences will serve as a teaching and learning model for their classrooms.  The deadline for submitting an application is February 28, 2015.

Upcoming Events

  • Paul Final Exam

    Dec 3rd1:30pm
    Paul will be describing his research program and defending his dissertation.

Recent Events

  • Joe Redish gives department colloquium

    Oct 19th4:00pm
    Joe Redish will be visiting UW and giving the weekly department colloquium. The topic of his talk will be the physics for life sciences course he has helped develop.

  • Alexis General Exam

    Nov 18th10:30am
    Alexis will be giving a presentation of her conducted research and planned future directions.

View all events on our Google calendar.