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Episode 23 – Jane Jackson – 27 years developing Modeling Instruction

In this episode, Mark talks with Jane Jackson, who has worked on modeling instruction for the last 27 years. She gives us insight into the history of modeling instruction as well as the challenges we face funding workshops. She also talks about the importance of science education, and specifically physics education.

Guest Bio

Jane Jackson

Jane JacksonI grew up in rural Connecticut, married an Arizonan at age 19, and began study at Arizona State University as a sophomore. I earned a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in physics at ASU, and loved the work. David Hestenes taught me two courses; he was one of my favorite professors. My husband and I taught at South Dakota State University until 1984, while raising our two children. Then we returned to Arizona, and I taught at Scottsdale Community College for 10 years. David Hestenes asked me in 1994 to be project director for his NSF grant for Modeling Instruction. “It’ll only be part-time”, he said. I still work nearly full-time on Modeling Instruction, 27 years later — although mostly as a volunteer, because ASU requires our program to be self-supporting. Modeling Instruction is important in this portentous time of global climate change, for it helps people think with evidence while they connect with nature.



[22:18] Jane Jackson, on becoming an expert: “research done by K. Anders Ericsson show that in any endeavor, it takes many years to become an expert. And you can’t become an expert just by doing the job like teaching …you have to do deliberate practice.”

[27:51] Jane Jackson: “they need modeling instruction type physics because modeling instruction teaches you how to think with evidence. And that’s absolutely crucial for humanity to tackle these huge problems that we face like global warming, sea level rise, these huge storms that we’re getting now, these days, you know, these destructive wildfires and all these other problems…”



Jane Transcript


Modeling Instruction Program

Talk Jane gave about funding for workshops

PhysTEC Physics Teacher Education Coalition

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