Research on Teacher Learning and Teacher Knowledge

I’ve explored teacher learning and knowledge in middle school since about 2010. I love working with teachers, and interacting with them has not only changed my career but has made me a better physicist and scientist. Learning to think about energy, force, or motion in terms of middle school students has made me re-think things I thought I knew, and the sense of constantly trying to improve my understanding is also something they’ve helped me be more explicit about. When studying teacher learning, I’m interested in how teaching in the classroom is affected by one’s knowledge of the topic, and how one’s knowledge is affected by one’s teaching. Thinking about the science in terms of how students learn it is very different from what we usually do in physics, where formal logical arguments are often more important. Thinking of the ways in which teachers are learners, colleagues, and collaborators all at once has helped me think of the community in which I work, and building researcher-practitioner partnerships to do my research has become ever-more important to the work that I do.

For more information on this work, contact Michael Wittmann.