Fred Goldberg, Ph.D

  • Professor Emeritus
  • Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education

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For the past twenty years I have been involved in research and development in physics education. Initially my group and I did detailed studies of student understanding in various topical areas of physics, and later we studied students` epistemological beliefs (beliefs about physics knowledge and about learning). We then focused on developing instructional strategies that addressed the student difficulties observed by our group and others in the field. Many of these strategies involved the use of computer technology, including the use of videodisks, animations, graphics programs and simulations. Over the past six years my group has focused on studying how students learn in a technology-rich collaborative learning environment, and we have been particularly interested in developing ways that computer simulations can be used to complement and extend hands-on experiences of students and scaffold their development of target physics models. From 1995–2000 I directed a large team of physics educators (University and high school) and software design experts in developing a pedagogy, curriculum materials and computer software to support a classroom environment where students have primary responsibility for developing robust and valid ideas in physics (the CPU Project). More recently I have helped direct projects involving the development of a year-long physical science course for middle school students (CIPS Project) and a physics course for prospective and practicing elementary teachers (CPU-Elementary project). Each of these projects incorporates the use of computer technology in a constructivist-oriented learning environment. They also provide the context for rich research studies of how students learn and how teachers teach. The recent CIPS Professional Development project involves the development of both workshop and web-based materials to help teachers implement the middle-school CIPS curriculum with high fidelity.

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