In this episode, Mark talks with Kathy Malone about her first exposure to modeling instruction methodology through the very first modeling physics workshop. They talk about Kathy’s role in working to create the initial biology modeling materials, her research and work in Kazakhstan, and finally the research she has just recently published.
Kathy holds undergraduate degrees in biology and physics education and master’s degrees in Science Teaching and Instructional Science. She took her first course in physics modeling at ASU in 1995. She has since taught physics using modeling at both the high school and college levels, and started co-leading physics modeling workshops in 1998. Her developing interest in modeling led Kathy to earn a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in physics education based on research on physics modeling at the high school level. Her research focused on the cognitive and metacognitive skills developed by students in modeling classes. After teaching for about 30 years at the high school level she moved to the college level in 2014 teaching graduate and undergraduate education courses. Her research focused on curriculum development and research in modeling but she shifted her focus to biology modeling which at the time was in its infancy. She has also taught graduate-level education in Kazakhstan for several years. She “retired” from teaching education courses in 2022 and then started teaching at the University of Hawaii at Hilo in the Physics and Astronomy department. She is currently using modeling techniques in her physics and astronomy classes.
[12:07] Kathy Malone “teaching, especially modeling, is very much a jazz performance to me, because what it is, is that it’s not me. It’s the whole class, right? So we’re performing together, trying to reach a goal.”
[23:04] Kathy Malone “I can see as the years progressed I was no longer a teacher of science. I had become more of a teacher of thinking… because models are all around us, they’re not just science.”