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Physics Is More Than Problem-solving: Building Inclusivity and Belonging by Practicing Professionalism

Marty Baylor, Carleton College
Monday, January 23, 2023 - 4:00pm
PAA A-102

When I’ve asked potential physics majors to reflect on what it takes to be a physicist, their responses essentially write themselves out of the identity that they seem to be striving for. Their narrow definition of what it takes to be a physicist can lead students, particularly students whose identities are under-represented in STEM to feel as if they don’t belong. To help broaden students' definition of who a physicist is so that they can see themselves in the field now, I have been developing what I am calling the Practicing Professionalism Framework for my courses. This Framework not only helps me help students understand the course content, structures, and skills better, but it also helps motivate in a natural and compelling way that being a physicist is broader than the ability to solve problems and doesn’t require them to win a Nobel Prize. In this talk I will not only present this framework, its implementation and its impact on students, I will also describe how I believe it can be expanded beyond physics to other STEM disciplines.

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