Physics Educator Phil Scott to Present Waterbury Lecture
by Joe Savrock (October 2009)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Phil Scott, professor of physics education at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, will present the next in a series of Waterbury Lectures. Scott’s presentation, titled “Teaching Science Concepts: A Neglected Art?”, will take place Oct. 20 at 4:30 p.m. in 112 Walker Building on the Penn State University Park campus.
Scott also serves as director of the Centre for Studies in Science and Mathematics Education at Leeds. His research interests lie in planning and evaluating approaches to teaching physics conceptual knowledge, focusing in particular on the patterns of talk in the classroom. He is co-editor of the journal Studies in Science Education and a board member of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching.
Scott points to new developments related to the teaching of science, including inquiry/investigation-based approaches, argumentation in science education, and the way science works. “My concern is that new approaches tend to take away from the fundamental job of teaching and learning scientific conceptual knowledge,” he says. “A worrying trend that I detect sees new approaches being set up in opposition to each other in an unhealthy dichotomy.”
In his presentation, Scott says he will “explore some of these ideas, emphasizing the importance of teaching science concepts in an engaging way and making the case for moving away from harmful dichotomies in talking and thinking about teaching.”
The Waterbury Lecture, held twice a semester, features prominent speakers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. For more information, contact Sue Stewart at 814-863-8924.
The Waterbury Lecture series is sponsored by an endowment from Kenneth Waterbury to the Penn State College of Education. The endowment has created the Kenneth B. Waterbury Chair in Secondary Education, which is held by Richard A. Duschl. Duschl’s research focuses on advancing teacher education programs and on the design of learning environments that seek and promote collaborations in STEM education.