Magdalena Kersting

Magdalena Kersting
University of Copenhagen · Department of Science Education

PhD in Physics Education
I am an assistant professor of science education at the Department of Science Education at the University of Copenhagen.

About

37
Publications
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153
Citations
Introduction
I study how learners understand and experience abstract knowledge in physical and virtual environments in formal and informal learning spaces. With my research, I aim to transform and expand science education and have a lasting educational impact in three areas: - embodied cognition in science education - Einsteinian physics education - technology-enhanced science education

Publications

Publications (37)
Article
Full-text available
Have you ever heard of black holes? Black holes sound like objects from a science fiction story. These objects are dark, dense regions in the universe, and their gravitational pull is so strong that nothing can escape them—not even light! This is why black holes are so black: without light, we cannot see them. Physicists think that black holes are...
Book
Full-text available
Hva kjennetegner naturfagundervisning med god kvalitet? God naturfagundervisning legger til rette for at elever får et personlig engasjement i temaer de vil utforske ved hjelp av naturvitenskapelige praksiser og tenkemåter. Naturfag på sitt beste kan engasjere elevene i praktiske problemstillinger i klasserommet med situasjoner som må løses her og...
Chapter
På hvilken måte kan nettbrett utvide muligheter for praktiske aktiviteter og utforskinger i naturfag? Hvordan kan en lærer skape et godt læringsmiljø og styrke elevenes handlekraft på digitale arenaer? I denne casen belyser vi undervisningsstrategier som skårer høyt på praktiske aktiviteter, datainnsamling, konsolidering, tidsbruk og atferd. Disse...
Chapter
Hvordan kan man løfte kvaliteten på utforskende undervisning i naturfag? Finnes det enkle grep for å forbedre utforskende naturfagundervisning eller få under- visningen til å bli utforskende? I dette kapitlet ønsker vi å svare på disse spørsmålene ved å sammenlikne de obser- verte undervisningspraksisene med lærernes erfaringer med og refleksjoner...
Chapter
Hvilken rolle spiller kreativitet og fantasi i naturfag? Hvordan tilrettelegger en lærer for bruk og utvikling av forestillingsevnen når elevene lager produkter i fellesskap? Hvordan skaper lærere et læringsmiljø der elevene får utvikle sin kreativitet uten å være redd for å feile? Denne casen drøfter muligheter for å fremme fantasi og kreativitet...
Article
Full-text available
Science deals with the world around us, and we understand, experience, and study this world through and with our bodies. While science educators have started to acknowledge the critical role of the body in science learning, approaches to conceptualising the body in science education vary greatly. Embodiment and embodied cognition serve as umbrella...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Science communication for action and engagement – a proposal developed by the participants of the International Summer School “Communicating Science” 2021 in Berlin. This document was developed in five days by 50 young researchers from 26 countries. It offers recommendations for the future of science communication. In seven working groups, the part...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, the science education research community has become increasingly interested in the learning domain of Einsteinian physics (EP). While the literature has provided accounts of how EP education can impact secondary and undergraduate students' attitudes and engagement with physics, we still lack such research with younger students. Thi...
Article
Full-text available
Dark matter is one of the most intriguing scientific mysteries of our time and offers exciting instructional opportunities for physics education in high schools. The topic is likely to engage and motivate students in the classroom and allows addressing open questions of the Standard Model of particle physics. Although the empirical evidence of dark...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, the physics education community has taken a keen interest in modernising physics education. However, while topics in modern physics have great potential to engage students, these topics are abstract and hard-to-visualise. Therefore, many students hold mistaken pictures and misconceptions, which can impede learning. In this article, we exp...
Article
Full-text available
Virtual reality applications turn abstract concepts into experienceable phenomena and present exciting opportunities to transform science education and public outreach practices. While research has started to look into the affordances of virtual reality (VR) in the formal science education context, the potential of these technologies to enhance pub...
Preprint
Full-text available
Dark matter is one of the most intriguing scientific mysteries of our time and offers exciting instructional opportunities for physics education in high schools. The topic is likely to engage and motivate students in the classroom and allows addressing open questions of the Standard Model of particle physics. Although the empirical evidence of dark...
Preprint
Full-text available
Science educators have to move beyond traditional content-focused instruction to teach concepts of Einsteinian physics. This work presents a design-based research project that introduced general relativity (GR) to upper secondary school students in Norway. The educational approach invited students to explore the historical development and philosoph...
Chapter
Modern physics unfolds on the stage of four-dimensional spacetime. Grappling with century-old ideas of space and time, Albert Einstein revolutionized our understanding of the cosmos by merging space and time into a four-dimensional entity that takes an active role in shaping the laws of physics. While experiments have repeatedly confirmed Einstein’...
Thesis
Full-text available
The field of physics education aims to accomplish both research and practical goals: physics educators move between the world of research and scholarship and the world of school and teacher practice. This thesis takes the general theory of relativity as a learning domain to present physics education research that has contributed to both worlds. The...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, general relativity (GR) and gravitational-wave astronomy have emerged both as active fields of research and as popular topics in physics classrooms. Teachers can choose from an increasing number of modern instructional models to introduce students to relativistic ideas. However, the true potential of an instructional model can only...
Article
This study reports on a pilot program conducted by members of the international Einsteinian Physics Education Research (EPER) Collaboration that aims to pool and combine innovative learning approaches in Einsteinian Physics. The collaboration also aims to disseminate learning resources and research results across a range of countries. In this study...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Science educators around the world aim to inspire and educate the next generation of scientists by teaching students our best understanding of the universe. This workshop brings together perspectives from Australia and Norway on how to teach this modern understanding by combining scientific modeling with interactive digital and virtual reality envi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
One of the main challenges that science educators face is to develop teaching-learning sequences that both engage students and that convey the science content successfully as well. In particular new curriculum topics such as topics of modern physics pose challenges for teachers and educators because of a scarcity of teaching experience and learning...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Imagination plays a crucial role in science practice and education because science often deals with the unobservable. The aim of this work is to examine imaginative practices in the science classroom from a Wittgensteinian perspective to reconsider the meaning of concepts in science education. Concepts have a central role in science and science edu...
Article
Full-text available
In contrast to classical physics, general relativity (GR) interprets gravity as geometry. Objects follow geodesic curves in four-dimensional spacetime and curvature creates the illusion of a gravitational force. Despite the scientific relevance of this theory, educational research in the domain of GR is scarce. This study contributes to a growing b...
Presentation
Full-text available
As well as conveying an understanding of the subject, physics education provides students with opportunities to develop and practice a host of physics-related skills and to acquire graduate-level attributes and capabilities. However, there is a gap between the skills that physics education aims to provide and those skills that are acquired by the s...
Article
----- FULL ARTICLE HERE: https://rdcu.be/byw1j ----- This study contributes to our understanding of meaning making in CSCL environments by examining a specific aspect of collaborative problem solving in which students improvise, introduce, and make meaning with representations in disciplinary domains. These situations include the embodied and imagi...
Article
Though we live in a 4-dimensional universe, our minds and bodies are not particularly good at perceiving and depicting 4 dimensions. This study contributes to our understanding of collaboration with abstract concepts by examining particular activities where bodily and experiential understandings may conflict with the conceptual domain. Specifically...
Article
Full-text available
The first direct observation of gravitational waves in 2015 has led to an increased public interest in topics of general relativity (GR) and astronomy. Physics teachers and educators respond to this interest by introducing modern ideas of gravity and spacetime to high school students. Doing so, they face the challenge of finding suitable models tha...
Article
Full-text available
According to general relativity (GR), we live in a four-dimensional curved universe. Since the human mind cannot visualize those four dimensions, a popular analogy compares the universe to a two-dimensional rubber sheet distorted by massive objects. This analogy is often used when teaching GR to upper secondary and undergraduate physics students. H...
Article
Full-text available
Because of its abstract nature, Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity is rarely present in school physics curricula. Although the educational community has started to investigate ways of bringing general relativity to classrooms, field-tested educational material is rare. Employing the model of educational reconstruction, we present a coll...
Poster
Full-text available
Few scientific discoveries have had a bigger impact on our understanding of the Universe than general relativity (GR). Einstein’s revolutionary theory did not only herald a new scientific and technological age, but brought about a new heyday of the philosophy of space and time as well. Yet, despite its scientific, philosophical, and technological i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Though we live in a four-dimensional universe, our minds and bodies are not particularly good at perceiving and depicting four dimensions. In this study, we use upper secondary physics classrooms studying Einstein's general theory of relativity as a setting to identify conceptual challenges and representational practices that arise when learners at...
Poster
Full-text available
The physics curricula for middle and high schools around the world are strongly dominated by classical mechanics. To date, only few countries, like Norway, have incorporated modern subject matter that arose from the discoveries of twentieth century physics into their national curriculum. One out of five main topics in the Norwegian physics curricul...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Through a collection of related studies, the goal of this project is to investigate imagination as a collaborative and sociocultural process that underlies learning. This approach aligns imagining with other important topics of educational research such as collaborative learning, shared representations, communicative practices, and problem solving.
Project
ReleQuant develops digital, research-based learning resources in general relativity and quantum physics for upper secondary physics. Practicing physics teachers as well as physics teacher students are included in the project through ReleQuant Competence. ReleQuant combines: - development of digital learning resources - research on pupils' learning processes and motivation in physics - research on how the collaboration develops competence in the involved practitioner groups: teacher students, teachers and researchers