Calvin S. Kalman Research Group

Dr. Kalman with the Rector of Tra Vin University. Presenting to 37 faculty members in Việt Nam, November-December 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).

Dr. Kalman with Xiang Huang (Ph.D. graduate, 2012)

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”.

Remote Ph.D. defence of Joseph El-Helou (2020) Remote Ph.D. defence of Joseph El-Helou (2020).

Principal investigator

Calvin S. Kalman

Calvin Kalman, Ph.D.


Current members

Norah Mohammad Alodiby
Samantha Clark

B.Sc. student



  1. Kalman, C. S. Reflective Writing in Active Learning Classrooms. in Active Learning in College Science (eds. Mintzes, J. J. & Walter, E. M.) 73–87 (Springer International Publishing, 2020). doi:10.1007/978-3-030-33600-4_6
  2. Kalman, C. S. & Lattery, M. Editorial: Development of Student Understanding: Focus on Science Education. Front. Psychol. 10, 2861 (2019). doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02861
  3. Khazaei, F. H., Roucau, B. & Kalman, C. S. Can Learning about History of Science and Nature of Science in a Student-Centred Classroom Change Science Students’ Conception of Science? CE 09, 2561–2591 (2018). doi:10.4236/ce.2018.915194
  4. Kalman, C. S. & Lattery, M. J. Three Active Learning Strategies to Address Mixed Student Epistemologies and Promote Conceptual Change. Front. ICT 5, 19 (2018). doi:10.3389/fict.2018.00019
  5. Kalman, C. S., Lattery, M. & Sobhanzadeh, M. Impact of Reflective Writing and Labatorials on Student Understanding of Force and Motion in Introductory Physics. CE 09, 575–596 (2018). doi:10.4236/ce.2018.94041
  6. 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). doi:10.1119/1.5021434
  7. Kalman, C. S. Writing to Learn: Reflective Writing. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 16, 47–67 (Springer, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_4
  8. Kalman, C. S. What Is the Students’ Worldview? in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 16, 69–87 (Springer, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_5
  9. Kalman, C. S. Summing Up. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 16, 257–261 (Springer, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_12
  10. Kalman, C. S. Students Alternative Scientific Conceptions. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 16, 23–46 (Springer, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_3
  11. Kalman, C. S. Intellectual Development and Psychological Types. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 16, 13–22 (Springer, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_2
  12. Kalman, C. S. Educational Models Based Upon Philosophy of Science. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 16, 91–109 (Springer, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_6
  13. Kalman, C. S. Critical Thinking. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 16, 111–141 (Springer, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_7
  14. Kalman, C. S. Courses for Non-science Students. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 16, 201–233 (Springer, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_10
  15. Kalman, C. S. Constructing an Epistemology. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 16, 143–159 (Springer, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_8
  16. Kalman, C. S. Computer-Assisted Instruction. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 16, 235–255 (Springer, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_11
  17. Kalman, C. S. Changing How Students Learn. in Successful Science and Engineering Teaching 16, 161–198 (Springer, 2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66140-7_9
  18. Sobhanzadeh, M., Kalman, C. S. & Thompson, R. I. Labatorials in introductory physics courses. Eur. J. Phys. 38, 065702 (2017). doi:10.1088/1361-6404/aa8757
  19. 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). Sci & Educ 26, 743–745 (2017). doi:10.1007/s11191-017-9907-1
  20. Khanam, W. N. & Kalman, C. S. Implementation and Evaluation of the Course Dossier Methodology. Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 8, 1–20 (2017).
  21. Kalman, C. S. Successful Science and Engineering Teaching: Theoretical and Learning Perspectives. (Springer, 2017). 978-3-319-66140-7
  22. Kalman, C. S. Successful science and engineering teaching in colleges and universities. (Information Age Publishing, 2017). 978-1-68123-958-3
  23. Kalman, C. S., Sobhanzadeh, M., Thompson, R., Ibrahim, A. & Wang, X. Combination of interventions can change students’ epistemological beliefs. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 11, 020136 (2015). doi:10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.11.020136
  24. Ha, S., Lee, G. & Kalman, C. S. Workshop on Friction: Understanding and Addressing Students’ Difficulties in Learning Science Through a Hermeneutical Perspective. Sci & Educ 22, 1423–1441 (2013). doi:10.1007/s11191-012-9465-5
  25. Huang, X. & Kalman, C. S. A case study on reflective writing. Journal of College Science Teaching 42, 92–99 (2012).
  26. Kalman, C. S. Enhancing Students’ Conceptual Understanding by Engaging Science Text with Reflective Writing as a Hermeneutical Circle. Sci & Educ 20, 159–172 (2011). doi:10.1007/s11191-010-9298-z
  27. Kalman, C. S. On the Concept of Force: A Comment on Lopes Coelho. Sci & Educ 20, 67–69 (2011). doi:10.1007/s11191-010-9284-5
  28. Kalman, C. S. & Rohar, S. Toolbox of activities to support students in a physics gateway course. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 6, 020111 (2010). doi:10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.6.020111
  29. 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. Can. J. Phys. 88, 325–332 (2010). doi:10.1139/P10-024
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