Facilitating thinking and learning in and beyond the physics classrooms using research-based approaches


  • Chandralekha Singh University of Pittsburgh


I will discuss, using my research in physics education, how research can be used as a guide to develop curricula and pedagogies to reduce student difficulties, and for making physics equitable and inclusive. I will also discuss innovations in teaching and learning methods for physics after the new normal, using my research conducted during emergency remote teaching and lessons learned that can be valuable for innovation in teaching and learning going forward.  My research has focused on improving student understanding of introductory and advanced concepts.  We are developing research-validated learning tools such as tutorials and peer instruction tools that actively engage students in the learning process.  I will discuss how we evaluate the effectiveness of these tools using a variety of methodologies and then describe our research studies that provide guidelines for how to enhance physics by making it inclusive. Finally, I will discuss how a field-tested short intervention was implemented at the beginning of a physics course and how it improved the performance of underrepresented students in introductory physics classes compared to the comparison group.

Author Biography

Chandralekha Singh, University of Pittsburgh

Chandralekha Singh is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Founding Director of the Discipline-based Science Education Research Center (dB-SERC) at the University of Pittsburgh, United States. She recently served as the President of the American Association of Physics Teachers. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and American Association of Physics Teachers.  

Chandralekha has been conducting cutting-edge research to improve the learning of physics at all levels. She has pioneered efforts to improve the learning of advanced physics and has conducted seminal research on improving student understanding of quantum mechanics. She has also been a leading researcher focusing on research on assessment of learning in the context of physics and on improving student learning in physics courses at all levels. Chandralekha has played a key role in research on the role of intuition and expertise in physics problem solving, which can be translated to improving students’ problem solving, reasoning, and meta-cognitive skills.

Her talk will focus on ways to improve the understanding of quantum mechanics for higher level tertiary students and physicists of the future.