Postdoctoral Research Associate
I am interested in the role of language in learning physics. I am trying to answer questions such as: How does language work to represent ideas and processes in physics? Correspondingly, how do physics students construct meaning from linguistic representations that they read and hear? I employ and adapt ideas and methods from cognitive linguistics and systemic functional grammar to try and answer these questions.
There are two broad questions that interest me.
- As an extension of thinking of language as a representation, I am curious about categorization, how humans learn about the world and how the strategies they employ are brought to bear in learning and doing physics. I want to explore this on a sociological level, a representational level and (hopefully) on a neurological level.
- The question that really keeps me awake at night is: Why do we want students to learn physics at all, especially if they're not physics majors? In response to this question I want to continue to explore how we (physics educators) can turn a physics class into primarily a process of doing physics, and secondarily an act of learning physics concepts/ideas.
For more information
- David T. Brookes and Eugenia Etkina, "Using Conceptual Metaphor and Functional Grammar to Explore How Language Used in Physics Affects Stdent Learning," Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 3, 010105, (2007).
- Brookes, D. T. & Etkina, E. "Do Our Words Really Matter? Case Studies From Quantum Mechanics," in 2005 Physics Education Research Conference, AIP Conference Proceedings (AIP 2006).
- Brookes, D., Horton, G., Van Heuvelen, A. & Etkina, E. "Concerning Scientific Discourse about Heat," in 2004 Physics Education Research Conference, AIP Conference Proceedings (AIP, 2005).
- Brookes, D. T., Etkina, E. & Barnhart, S. "Integrating Video Technology Effectively into Instruction" in Society For Information Technology & Teacher Education – 14th International Conference (2003).
- Etkina, E., Van Heuvelen, A., Brookes, D. T. & Mills, D. "Role of Experiments in Physics Instruction - A Process Approach," Physics Teacher, 40 (2002) 351-355.
- "Developing and Assessing Scientific Abilities with Video Problems," D. T. Brookes & E. Etkina, seminar, The Ohio State University, December, 2004.
- "The Role of Metaphor in Scientific Thought and Physics Education," D. T. Brookes, seminar, University of Maryland, October, 2003.
- "What Can Linguistics Tell Us About Knowledge Structures in Physics?," D. T. Brookes, seminar, The Ohio State University, April, 2003.