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Chandra Turpen

Page history last edited by Chandra Turpen 3 years, 6 months ago

 

 

Dr. Chandra Turpen

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Physics

Director of the Maryland Learning Assistant Program

Specializing in Physics Education Research and Science Education Research

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

1312 Toll Physics Building

Department of Physics

University of Maryland, 

College Park, MD 20742

 

Email: Chandra.Turpen@colorado.edu

 

BRIEF BIOGRAPHY:

Chandra Turpen is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park with the Physics Education Research Group.  She completed her PhD in Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder specializing in Physics Education Research.  Chandra’s work involves designing and researching contexts for learning within higher education.   In her research, Chandra draws from the perspectives of anthropology, cultural psychology, and the learning sciences.  Through in-situ studies of classroom and institutional practice, Chandra focuses on the role of culture in science learning and educational change.  Chandra pursues projects that have high potential for leveraging sustainable change in undergraduate STEM programs and makes these struggles for change a direct focus of her research efforts.


At the University of Maryland, I am currently involved in two projects:

  1. I direct the Learning Assistant (LA) program aimed at recruiting and preparing talented science majors for careers in teaching, improving the quality of undergraduate science education, and transforming departmental cultures to value research-based teaching for ourselves and for our students.  The LA program works to transform large-enrollment science courses by creating environments in which students can interact with one another, engage in collaborative problem solving, and articulate and defend their ideas.  To accomplish this, undergraduate LAs teach in field placements where they facilitate small-group interactions while they simultaneously take a pedagogy seminar intended to help LAs learn to a) draw on students’ prior knowledge or intuitive knowledge in learning science, b) engage in formative assessment practices, c) synthesize classroom experiences with central ideas from education research, and d) investigate teaching and learning systematically and scientifically. 
  2. I lead the iterative design of a new Introductory Physics course for Life Science (IPLS) majors at the University of Maryland based on formative research studies our team is conducting concurrently in this environment.  This course explicitly bridges biology and physics in ways that are authentic to the disciplines and focuses on developing students’ scientific reasoning skills such as (1) knowing when and how to use different concepts, (2) making and justifying modeling decisions, and (3) making implicit assumptions visible. Our interdisciplinary course provides students opportunities to examine how these decisions may differ depending on canonical disciplinary aims and interests. Our focus on developing reasoning skills and adaptive expertise requires shifting course topics to focus on core ideas that span the disciplines, shifting epistemological expectations, and foregrounding typically tacit disciplinary assumptions.

 

TEACHING:

Fall 2011 & Spring 2012: Mathematics and Science Education-Theory and Practice for Learning Assistants

 

PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS:

  1. B. W. Dreyfus, V. Sawtelle, C. Turpen, and E.F. Redish, "A Vision of Interdisciplinary Education: Students' Reasoning about 'High-Energy Bonds' and ATP." (submitted for publication).

  2. C. Turpen and N. Finkelstein, “Using a cultural historical approach to understand educational change in introductory physics classrooms.” In A. Edwards and G. Wells (Eds.), Pedagogy in Higher Education: A cultural historical approach (in press, available Aug. 31, 2013).
  3. J. Svoboda, V. Sawtelle, B.D. Geller, and C. Turpen, "A Framework for Analyzing Interdisciplinary Tasks: Implications for Student Learning and Curricular Design." CBE—Life Sciences Education 12, 187-205 (2013).
  4. V. Sawtelle, T. R. Sikorski, C. Turpen, and E. F. Redish, "Examining the Positioning of Ideas in the Disciplines.” Proceedings of the 2012 Physics Education Research Conference, AIP Conf. Proc. 1513, 366-369 (2013). Note: Proceeding Paper Award Finalist.
  5. B.W. Dreyfus, B.D. Geller, V. Sawtelle, J. Svoboda, C. Turpen, and E. F. Redish, “Students’ interdisciplinary reasoning about ‘high-energy bonds’ and ATP.” Proceedings of the 2012 Physics Education Research Conference, AIP Conf. Proc. 1513, 122-125 (2013).
  6. B.D. Geller, B.W. Dreyfus, V. Sawtelle, J. Svoboda, C. Turpen, and E. F. Redish, “Students' reasoning about interdisciplinarity.” Proceedings of the 2012 Physics Education Research Conference, AIP Conf. Proc. 1513, 146-149 (2013).
  7. C. Turpen, C. Henderson, & M. Dancy, “Faculty Perspectives about Instructor and Institutional Assessments of Teaching Effectiveness." Proceedings of the 2011 Physics Education Research Conference, AIP Press. Melville, NY, 1413, 371-374, (2011).
  8. C. Turpen and N. Finkelstein, “The construction of different classroom norms during Peer Instruction: Students perceive differences.Physical Review Special Topics, Physics Education Research 6, 020123 (2010).
  9. C. Turpen, M. Dancy, and C. Henderson, “Faculty Perspectives On Using Peer Instruction: A National Study,Proceedings of the 2010 Physics Education Research Conference, AIP Press. Melville, NY, 1289, 325-328, (2010).
  10. M.H. Dancy, C. Turpen, and C. Henderson, “Why do Faculty Try Research Based Instructional Strategies?Proceedings of the 2010 Physics Education Research Conference, AIP Press. Melville, NY, 1289, 117-120, (2010).
  11. C. Turpen and N. Finkelstein, “Not all interactive engagement is the same: Variation in physics professors’ implementation of Peer Instruction.Physical Review Special Topics, Physics Education Research 5, 020101 (2009).
  12. C. Turpen, N. D. Finkelstein, and S. J. Pollock, “Towards Understanding Classroom Culture: Students’ Perceptions of Tutorials,Proceedings of the 2009 Physics Education Research Conference, AIP Press. Melville NY, 1179, 285-288, (2009).
  13. K. K. Perkins and C. Turpen, "Student Perspectives on Using Clickers in Upper-division Physics Courses,Proceedings of the 2009 Physics Education Research Conference, AIP Press. Melville NY, 1179, 225-228, (2009).
  14. C. Turpen and N. Finkelstein, “Institutionalizing reform in introductory physics,Proceedings of the 2008 Physics Education Research Conference, AIP Press. Melville NY, 1064, 207-210, (2008).
  15. C. Turpen and N. Finkelstein, "Understanding How Physics Faculty Use Peer Instruction," Proceedings of the 2007 Physics Education Research Conference, AIP Press. Melville NY, 951, 204-207, (2007).
  16. C. Keller, N. Finkelstein, K. Perkins, S. Pollock, C. Turpen, and M. Dubson, "Research-based Practices For Effective Clicker Use," Proceedings of the 2007 Physics Education Research Conference, AIP Press. Melville NY, 951, 128-131, (2007). 
  17. N. D. Finkelstein, C. Turpen, S. Pollock, M. Dubson, S. Iona, C. Keller, and V. Otero, “Evaluating a model of research-based practices for teacher preparation in a physics department: Colorado PhysTEC,Proceedings of the 2005 Physics Education Research Conference, AIP Press. Melville NY, 818, 3-6, (2006).
  18. J. N. Hancock, C. A. Turpen, Z. Schlesinger, G. R. Kowach, & A. P. Ramirez, “Unusual Low-Energy Phonon Dynamics in the Negative Thermal Expansion Compound ZrW2O8.Physical Review Letters, 93(22), 225501, (2004). 

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