ADAPT Program -- Accent on Developing Abstract Processes of Thought


Date of this Version

October 1982


Almost from its beginning, the ADAPT project had faculty development workshops as one of its products. Early in the ADAPT project the staff agreed that ADAPT was not a set of curricular materials to be developed and marketed. Rather the ADAPT faculty saw the insights gained from Piaget’s work as a different way of understanding college teaching. This understanding may manifest itself in active learning classroom exercises based on the Learning Cycle. Perhaps, more importantly, the constructivism of Piaget transforms the mission of the college teacher and it provides clues to proper teaching behaviors. The best way to share the Piagetian ideas with others is through an active learning experience. Hence, the workshop on College Teaching and the Development of Reasoning was developed by the ADAPT faculty. The Development of Reasoning workshops date back to December of 1973. At that time, Professor Robert Karplus was putting together a proposal to the National Science Foundation to develop a workshop on Piaget for physics teachers. After a visit to Lincoln in 1973 he invited me to serve on that AAPT task force to develop the workshop. During that same time our team at Nebraska was writing our proposal to submit to the Exxon Education Foundation. It was only natural that we include a workshop for our UNL colleagues in the proposal.

In many ways our present workshop is the same as the original workshop constructed by Karplus and the AAPT task force in 1974. The first workshop, Physics Teaching and the Development of Reasoning, was offered at the annual AAPT-APS meeting in Anaheim, California in January of 1975. Almost all of the content in our present two-day workshop was in that first workshop. It was offered in a three-hour period. More than 100 physics teachers walked through the workshop that first time.