Saturday, February 14, 2009
Joint AAPT/AAAS 2009 Annual Winter Meeting (Chicago, IL)
I coined the term "Peer Instruction" (and the associated "ConcepTests") to describe a technique I was starting to implement in my class in an NSF proposal I wrote 1991. I implemented the technique to solve a problem in my own class, never anticipating the wide acceptance the technique (and the terms) would find over the course of the next decade and a half. The technique has found a broad following across disciplines, across institutions, and across the world, even if some adaptations stray far from my original ideas. What is it that accounts for the method's rapid dissemination? Does the dissemination of pedagogical innovations require more oversight so as to make sure the original intent is preserved? Or is the adaptability and the ensuing sense of ownership that adopters develop part of the success?