I am a professor of science education in the Graduate School of Education. My training is in physics, astrophysics and pedagogy. I teach physics and astronomy, prepare high school physics teachers, run professional development programs, and do research on student learning. The first 13 of my career were spent teaching high school physics in Moscow, Russia. After I received my Ph. D. in physics education from Moscow State Pedagogical University I joined the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. While working in a high school I developed an approach to teaching physics which mirrors processes that physicists use to construct knowledge. I did research on the effectiveness of this approach on student learning of physics concepts, development of their epistemology, and scientific abilities. Now I work in close cooperation with physics faculty to incorporate this approach into introductory physics courses. I am also the coordinator of Rutgers Physics Teacher Preparation Program. This is a unique program as it combines physics and pedagogy to prepare a new generation of physics teachers - those who not only understand physics but know how help students learn it. Rutgers University now is a national leader in physics teacher preparation. Currently I am interested in the transfer of scientific abilities that undergraduate students acquire in modified introductory physics courses (we just received an NSF grant to study this) and in the transfer of pedagogical content knowledge by physics teachers. I publish in physics education journals such as American Journal of Physics, Physical Review, The Physics Teacher, and in science education research journals such as Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Science Education, the Journal of Learning Sciences, etc. I chair dissertations of students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy working on Physics Education Research Projects and dissertations of students in the Graduate School of Education.
Joel Shapiro has long been interested in issues of Physics Education. In the
early '70s, along with Prof. Watts, he developed a Keller plan self-paced
course (323-324). He has worked on many tools for using computers for
assessment and pedagogy. In the mid 80's he and Prof. Plano developed the grtex
system for formatting and randomizing multiple choice exams, since expanded to
include numerical answer questions. He developed a sophisticated readjustment
procedure for mitigating grading discrepancies among recitation sections. In
the mid 1990s, he designed and built the university's first "Student
Response System", and though that hardware has since been replaced by
commercial systems, his system led the way to use in most of our large
introductory courses and in many other departments. Since that time he has been
working on computer based tutorial systems for helping students in introductory
physics courses cope with complex homework problems. He is responsible for a major component
of the Andes2 homework tutorial system, and has founded, along with computer scientists,
the Watchung Tutoring Group, which works on more flexible systems to handle
algebraic interaction with physics students.
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Revised June, 2010