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

Principal Investigator

This is an image of Marc Collette

Calvin Kalman, Ph.D

Current Students


Joseph  El-Helou, Ph.D. student, Use of a combination of Reflective Writing and Labatorials for a better understanding of scientific concepts in high school


Fereshte Heidari khazaei, M.Sc. student, Teaching Nature Of Science(NOS) in a student-centered classroom

Norah Alodiby, M.Sc. student, Improving students’ critical thinking and argument skills through flipped classrooms


Franco La Braca, M.Sc. student
Comparing the Effects of Labatorials and Traditional Labs on Student Learning

Recent theses

  • J. El-Helou, "Reflective Writing for a Better Understanding of Concepts of Scientific Concepts in High School", 2016, (MSc Thesis)

  • Baptiste Roucau, "Engagement with student-centred learning: the student perspective", 2016, (Undergraduate honours thesis, Educational Psychology)

  • Mandana Sobhanzadeh, "Implementing Reflective Writing in Combination with Labatorials.", 2015 (PhD Thesis) PDF

  • W. N. Khanam, "Helping Students to get a better Understanding of Physics Concepts using the Learning Tool ‘Course Dossier Method’ ", 2014 (MSc Thesis) PDF

  • X. Huang, "Changing The Way Students Learn In Physics Gateway Courses", 2012 (PhD Thesis) PDF

Selected publications related to physics educational research

1.Kalman, C. S. et al. Impact of Reflective Writing and Labatorials on Student Understanding of Force and Motion in Introductory Physics. Creative Education 9, 575–596 (2018).

2.El-Helou, J. & Kalman, C. S. Reflective Writing for a Better Understanding of Scientific Concepts in High School. The Physics Teacher 56, 88–91 (2018).

3.Kalman, C. S. Writing to Learn: Reflective Writing. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 47–67 (Springer, Cham, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_4

4.Kalman, C. S. What Is the Students’ Worldview? in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 69–87 (Springer, Cham, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_5

5.Kalman, C. S. Summing Up. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 257–261 (Springer, Cham, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_12

6.Kalman, C. S. Students Alternative Scientific Conceptions. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 23–46 (Springer, Cham, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_3

7.Kalman, C. S. Intellectual Development and Psychological Types. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 13–22 (Springer, Cham, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_2

8.Kalman, C. S. Educational Models Based Upon Philosophy of Science. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 91–109 (Springer, Cham, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_6

9.Kalman, C. S. Critical Thinking. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 111–141 (Springer, Cham, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_7

10.Kalman, C. S. Courses for Non-science Students. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 201–233 (Springer, Cham, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_10

11.Kalman, C. S. Constructing an Epistemology. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 143–159 (Springer, Cham, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_8

12.Kalman, C. S. Computer-Assisted Instruction. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 235–255 (Springer, Cham, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_11

13.Kalman, C. S. Changing How Students Learn. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 161–198 (Springer, Cham, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_9

14.Sobhanzadeh, M., Kalman, C. S. & Thompson, R. I. Labatorials in introductory physics courses. European Journal of Physics 38, 065702 (2017).

15.Kalman, C. S. Successful Science and Engineering Teaching: Theoretical and Learning Perspectives, 2nd Edition. (Springer, 2017).

16.Kalman, C. S. Research on Teaching Thinking: Rupert Wegerif, Li Li and James C. Kaufman (Eds.) (2015). The Routledge International Handbook of Research on Teaching Thinking. Routledge, Oxon. ISBN: 978-0-415-74749-3 $230. 487 pages (hardback). Science & Education 26, 743–745 (2017).

17.Successful Science and Engineering Teaching in Colleges and Universities, 2nd Edition. (Information Age Publishing, 2017).

18.Khanam, W. & Kalman, C. Implementation and Evaluation of the Course Dossier Methodology. Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning 8, 1–20 (2017).

19.Kalman, C. et al. Combination of Interventions Can Change Students’ Epistemological Beliefs. Physical Review Special Topics-Physics Education Research 11, (2015).

20.Ha, S., Lee, G. & Kalman, C. S. Workshop on Friction: Understanding and Addressing Students’ Difficulties in Learning Science Through a Hermeneutical Perspective. Science & Education 22, 1423–1441 (2013).

21.Huang, X. & Kalman, C. S. Research and Teaching: A Case Study on Reflective Writing. Journal of College Science Teaching 42, 92–99 (2012).

22.Kalman, C. S. Enhancing Students’ Conceptual Understanding by Engaging Science Text with Reflective Writing as a Hermeneutical Circle. Science & Education 20, 159–172 (2011).

23.Kalman, C. S. On the Concept of Force: A Comment on Lopes Coelho. Science & Education 20, 67–69 (2011).

24.Kalman, C., Kalman, C. S. & Rohar, S. Toolbox of Activities to Support Students in a Physics Gateway Course. Physical Review Special Topics-Physics Education Research 6, (2010).

25.Kalman, C. S., Milner-Bolotin, M. & Antimirova, T. Comparison of the Effectiveness of Collaborative Groups and Peer Instruction in a Large Introductory Physics Course for Science Majors. Canadian Journal of Physics 88, 325–331 (2010).

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