Concordia University

Calvin S. Kalman Research Group

Dr. CS Kalman with the Rector of Tra Vin University. Presenting to 37 faculty members in Viet Nam Nov.-Dec. 2010.

In traditional lecture courses as well as courses that use interactive engagement, students are less expert-like at the end of the course than they were at the beginning (Madsen, McKagan, & Sayre, 2015). Our recent research was based on the hypothesis that students' epistemological beliefs could become more expert-like with a combination of appropriate instructional activities: (a) pre-class reading with metacognitive reflection (Kalman, 2011), and (b) in-class active learning that produces cognitive dissonance (Kalman et al. 2015).


Our research group has been designing many new pedagogical approaches for a long time (e.g., Kalman et al., 1999; Kalman, Rohar, & Wells, 2004; Kalman et al., 2008; Kalman, Sobhanzadeh, Thompson, Ibrahim, & Wang, 2015) to help students succeed in their courses (e.g., Kalman & Rohar, 2010; Kalman, Milner-Bolotin, & Antimirova, 2010; Khanam & Kalman, 2016). Our focus has now gone beyond the question of whether or not a pedagogical technique is effective, toward a more intense focus on finding a class of techniques that is effective in helping students become more like expert thinkers. Contrary to the normal experience noted above (Madsen, McKagan, & Sayre, 2015) we have shown in our recent work that it is possible to help students make progress toward “expert-learning style.”


Dr. CS Kalman with Xiang Huang, PhD graduate 2012

Current students

Joseph  El-Helou, PhD

Fereshte Heidari khazaei, MSc

Norah Alodiby, MSc 

Recent theses

  • "Reflective writing for a better understanding of concepts of scientific concepts in high school", J. El-Helou. 2016 (MSc Thesis)
  • "Engagement with student-centred learning: the student perspective", Baptiste Roucau. Undergraduate honours thesis, Educational Psychology (2016).
  • "Implementing Reflective Writing in Combination with Labatorials.", Mandana Sobhanzadeh 2015 (PhD Thesis)
  • "Helping Students to get a better Understanding of Physics Concepts using the Learning Tool ‘Course Dossier Method’ ", W. N. Khanam 2014 (MSc Thesis)
  • "Changing The Way Students Learn In Physics Gateway Courses", X. Huang 2012 (PhD Thesis)


Selected publications related to physics educational research

1. "Implementation and Evaluation of the Course Dossier Methodology," Khanam, Wahidun N. and Kalman, Calvin S. (2016) The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: To be published 2016.

2. “Combination of Interventions Can Change Students’ Epistemological Beliefs.” Calvin S. Kalman, Mandana Sobhanzadeh, Robert Thompson, Ahmed Ibrahim, and Xihui Wang. Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research. 11, 020136 (2015)  pp 1-17– Published 21 December 2015.

3. “Workshop on Friction: Understanding and Addressing Students’ Difficulties in Learning Science through a Hermeneutical perspective.” Gyoungho Lee, Sangwoo Ha & Calvin Kalman. Science & Education 22(6), 1405-1442, 2013

4. “A Case Study on Reflective Writing. “Xiang Huang& Calvin S. Kalman. Journal of College Science Teaching.. Sep/Oct2012, 42 (1), 92-99.

5. “Enhancing Students' Understanding Of Concepts By Getting Students to  Approach Text in The Manner of a Hermeneutical Circle.” Calvin S. Kalman Science & Education: 20(2), 159–172, 2011.

6. “Toolbox of activities to support students in a physics gateway course.” Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research. 6(2),020111,1-15, 2010.

7. “Comparison of the Effectiveness of Collaborative Groups and Peer Instruction in a Large Introductory Physics Course for Science Majors.” Calvin S. Kalman, Marina Milner-Bolotin, and Tetyana Antimirova. Canadian Journal of Physics  88, (5), 325-332, 2010.doi: 10.1139/P10-024.

8. "Students Perception of Reflective Writing as a Tool for Exploring an Introductory Textbook", Calvin S.Kalman, Mark Aulls, Shelley Rohar, and John Godley, Journal of College Science Teaching March/April 2008 37(3), 74-81.

9. “Enhancing conceptual change using argumentative essays” Calvin S. Kalman, Shelley Rohar and David Wells. Am. J. Phys 72, 715-717, 2004.

10.    "Can an Analysis of The Contract Between Pre-Galilean and Newtonian Theoretical Frameworks Help Students Develop a Scientific Mindset?" Calvin S. Kalman, Mark Aulls, Science & Education 12, 761-772, 2003.

11.    “Developing Critical Thinking in Undergraduate Courses: A Philosophical Approach. “Calvin S. Kalman. Science & Education  11, 83-94, 2002.

12.    "Promoting Conceptual Change Using Collaborative Groups In Quantitative Gateway Courses". Calvin S. Kalman, Stanley Morris, Christopher Cottin and Robert GordonPhysics Educational Research Supplement. Am. J. Phys.67, S45-S51 1999.

13.    "Successful Science and Engineering Teaching:Theoretical and Learning Perspectives", Calvin S. Kalman, Springer, 2008.

14.    "Successful Science and Engineering Teaching in Colleges and Universities", Calvin S. Kalman,Anker Publishing, 2007.

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