Seminar Archive: Professor Eric Mazur

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Professor Eric Mazur

Topic: Confessions of a converted lecturer

Seminar Date & Time: Thursday, October 13, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

Location: Broad Institute Auditorium (7 Cambridge Center)

Professor Eric Mazur is the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University. Professor Mazur is an eminent physicist and a national leader in science education. In 1991 he began developing an interactive teaching method for large physics courses called Peer Instruction. Professor Mazur details this interactive teaching method in his book Peer Instruction: A User’s Guide Manual, in which he describes how deep understanding can result when students are challenged to solve problems on their own first and then in collaborative small groups during class. Peer instruction has revolutionized science education and has been widely adopted across different science and engineering fields nationally and internationally. Professor Mazur’s research on peer instruction has demonstrated that students conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills increase substantially in comparison to peers taught in a traditional classroom environment. More recently, he helped developed the award winning DVD Interactive Teaching, which serves as a workshop for teachers and instructors on how to incorporate peer instruction and Just-in-Time-Teaching for a more successful classroom instruction. In addition to peer instruction, Professor Mazur’s education group conducts research in gender and physics, the effectiveness of classroom demonstrations, and the use of technology to enable new modes of learning. In 2006 Professor Mazur was recognized as one of 75 most outstanding American physicists by the American Association of Physics Teachers and in 1999 he received an award for excellence in educational research by the Council of Scientific Society Presidents.