Teaching quantum interpretations : revisiting the goals and practices of introductory quantum physics courses
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Most introductory quantum physics instructors would agree that transitioning students from classical to quantum thinking is an important learning goal, but may disagree on whether or how this can be accomplished. Although (and perhaps because) physicists have long debated the physical interpretation of quantum theory, many instructors choose to avoid emphasizing interpretive themes; or they discuss the views of scientists in their classrooms, but do not adequately attend to student interpretations. In this synthesis and extension of prior work, we demonstrate: (1) instructors vary in their approaches to teaching interpretive themes; (2) different instructional approaches have differential impacts on student thinking; and (3) when student interpretations go unattended, they often develop their own (sometimes scientifically undesirable) views. We introduce here a new modern physics curriculum that explicitly attends to student interpretations, and provide evidence-based arguments that doing so helps them to develop more consistent interpretations of quantum phenomena, more sophisticated views of uncertainty, and greater interest in quantum physics.
Baily , C & Finkelstein , N D 2015 , ' Teaching quantum interpretations : revisiting the goals and practices of introductory quantum physics courses ' Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research , vol 11 , no. 2 , 020124 . DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.11.020124
Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research
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This work was supported in part by NSF CAREER Grant No. 0448176, NSF DUE No. 1322734, NSF IUSE No. 1432204, the University of Colorado, and the University of St Andrews.
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