Dr. Nguyen published in American Journal of Physics

Dr. Hai Nguyen, Assistant Professor of Physics at Tennessee Wesleyan University, was recently published in the American Journal of Physics (AJP) for his research into the dynamics of student’s and instructor’s epistemic framing while solving problems in advanced physics classes.


“The AJP is one of the most prestigious physics journals in the United States and worldwide,” said Dr. Nguyen. “It belongs to the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), although its target audience is physicists in general. It publishes the most recent and significant physics research.”


Dr. Nguyen’s research was unique in its focus on Physics Education. The researchers involved aimed to identify how an individual perceives a task at hand and determine what knowledge and tools are useful for completing the task. In other words, how do students frame a problem at hand, how does the instructor frame the problem, and how does their interaction affect those frames.


“We found that most of the time, the instructor is able to shift students’ framing toward a more productive frame, although there are still some times that the instructor does follow students’ (framing) and that is a good way to check-in with them and collaboratively nudge them along, supporting their productive problem solving while implicitly, or explicitly, supporting their self-efficacy and agency as learners and problem solvers.”


Physics Education Research (PER), the category of Dr. Nguyen’s work, was not published in the AJP until the 2000’s. Dr. Nguyen produced another paper related to this same research, which was published in the European Journal of Physics back in 2016.


“Getting published in this journal is a pride for any physicist and is a confirmation of identity for a physicist in the physics community,” added Dr. Nguyen. “For me, although I have chosen to pursue a teaching career and do not spend much effort on research, this publication is still a good motivation for me and my fellow students in the Physics Education Research field.”


Dr. Nguyen’s research was published online in October and can be viewed here. It will also be in the November print issue of the AJP.