Coordinator: Dean's Office
Ayush Gupta and Tathagata Sengupta
Monday and Thursday (11 AM to 1 PM)
Starting from August 23, 2021
Coordinator: Dr. Mashood K. K.
Dr. Tor Odden, University of Oslo, Norway
940 5808 5713
40 years ago, learning scientist Seymour Papert wrote "Everyone knows the unpleasant feeling evoked by running into a counterintuitive phenomenon where we are forced, by observation or by reason, to acknowledge that reality does not fit our expectations." In this sentence, Papert captures a common experience when learning new scientific ideas—the struggle to make sense of concepts or phenomena that conflict with our intuition. However, despite the commonality of this experience, science education researchers have only recently begun to systematically investigate the phenomenon of sensemaking, and much of the work on the subject is highly fragmented. In this talk, I will describe the results of a science education research project intended to synthesize this fragmented literature, document the sensemaking process, and map out its key features and mechanisms. I will present a case study of two students making sense of a complex physics phenomenon and use this case to both illustrate the trajectory of sensemaking and exemplify key strands of research on the process. I will also discuss implications for science instructors who wish to support their students in the sensemaking endeavor.
Tor Ole Odden holds a bachelor's and master's degree in physics, and a PhD in science education research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since 2018 he has been working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Computing in Science Education in the physics department of the University of Oslo, Norway. His research focuses on understanding the ways people make sense of science concepts, how programming and computation might be leveraged to support student agency and creativity in physics education, and how novel machine learning methods can be applied to science education research. In his spare time Tor is an active fiddle player, runner, skier, wood-carver, and graphic novel enthusiast.