EXPLORING EDUCATOR PROBLEM-SOLVING BELIEFS IN INDIANA HIGHER EDUCATION: A QUALITATIVE APPROACH
The dissertation study presented here explores what higher education instructors believe about problem-solving. Beliefs about problem-solving pedagogy and the influences that change pedagogical approaches in the post-secondary realm of physics education require more robust exploration. The level of change that occurs through the day-to-day teaching cycle and the support that garners improvement are essential aspects of teaching in higher education that need robust understanding.
Insight into higher education could illuminate the transitional experience of students between high school and college-level physics. This study explores the beliefs of Indiana college and high school educators, all of whom teach college-level physics content, and probed how those beliefs shaped higher education instructional strategies and teaching philosophies. The study was conducted using a Constructivist Grounded Theory approach.
The findings show that physics educators in college and high school learning environments lacked support explicitly geared toward them and physics. All the educators included in the study taught college-level physics. Four of the six participants were the only ones teaching physics in their schools. Despite the isolation, all participants noted the importance of peer-to-peer learning for themselves and their students, noting interactions with exterior training opportunities (e.g., educational conferences or online educator communities). However, the most crucial source of change in their teaching beliefs and approaches that the participants noted was the feedback they received from students.
- Doctor of Philosophy
- Curriculum and Instruction
- West Lafayette