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1. A. Lawson, “ The nature and development of hypothetico predictive argumentation with implications for science teaching,” Int. J. Sci. Educ. 25(11), 13871408 (2003).
2. E. Etkina and A. Van Heuvelen, “ Investigative science learning environment—A science process approach to learning physics,” in Research-Based Reform of University Physics, Vol. 1, edited by Edward F. Redish and Pat J. Cooney ( AAPT, College Park, MD, 2007),
3. M. Poklinek-Cancula, G. Planinsic, and E. Etkina, “ Analyzing patterns in experts' approaches to solving experimental problems,” Am. J. Phys. 83(4), 366374 (2015).
4. E. Etkina, G. Planinsic, and M. Vollmer, “ A simple optics experiment to engage students in scientific inquiry,” Am. J. Phys. 81(11), 815822 (2013).
5.A few sources that discuss this issue are S. Duggan and R. Gott, “ What sort of science education do we really need?,” Int. J. Sci. Educ. 24(7), 661679 (2002);
5. P. Chin, H. Munby, N. L. Hutchinson, J. Taylor, and F. Clark, “ Where's the science? Understanding the form and function of workplace science,” Reconsider. Sci. Learn. 118134 (2004).
6.NGSS Lead States, Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States ( National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2013). Science practices: Asking questions; developing and using models; planning and carrying out investigations; analyzing and interpreting data; using mathematics and computational thinking; constructing explanations; engaging in argument from evidence; obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
7.P. Laws, “ Millikan Lecture 1996: Promoting active learning based on physics education research in introductory physics courses,” Am. J. Phys. 65(1), 1421 (1997);
7. J. Jackson, L. Dukerich, and D. Hestenes, “ Modeling instruction: An effective model for science education,” Sci. Educ. 17(1), 1017 (2008);
7. F. Goldberg, E. Price, S. Robinson, D. Boyd-Harlow, and M. McKean, “ Developing the learning physical science curriculum: Adapting a small enrollment, laboratory and discussion based physical science course for large enrollments,” Phys. Rev. ST-PER 8(1), 010121-124 (2012).
8.See, for example, <> and E. Etkina, M. Gentile, and A. Van Heuvelen, The Physics Active Learning Guide, 2nd ed. ( Pearson, San Francisco, 2014).
9.Additional information on the disappearance of alcohol activity can be found at <>.
10. E. Etkina, M. Gentile, and A. Van Heuvelen, College Physics ( Pearson, San Francisco, 2014).
11. R. White and R. Gunstone, Probing Understanding ( The Falmer Press, London, 1992), pp. 4465.
12. A. Van Heuvelen and X. Zou, “ Multiple representations of work–energy processes,” Am. J. Phys. 69(2), 184194 (2001).
13. E. Etkina, A. Van Heuvelen, S. White-Brahmia, D. T. Brookes, M. Gentile, S. Murthy, D. Rosengrant, and A. Warren, “ Scientific abilities and their assessment,” Phys. Rev. ST-PER 2(2), 020103-115 (2006).
14.The website of the Rutgers Physics and Astronomy Education Research group dedicated to “Scientific Abilities” is available at <>.
15. J. Zull, The Art of Changing the Brain ( Stylus Publishing, Sterling, VA, 2002).
16. D. Hestenes, M. Wells, and G. Swackhamer, “ Force concept inventory,” Phys. Teach. 30(3), 141158 (1992).
17. D. P. Maloney, T. L. O'Kuma, C. J. Hieggelke, and A. Van Heuvelen, “ Surveying students' conceptual knowledge of electricity and magnetism,” Am. J. Phys. 69(S1), S12S23 (2001).
18. R. R. Hake, “ Interactive-engagement versus traditional methods: A six-thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses,” Am. J. Phys. 66(1), 6474 (1998).
19. D. Rosengrant, A. Van Heuvelen, and E. Etkina, “ Do students use and understand free-body diagrams?,” Phys. Rev. ST-PER 5(1), 010108-113 (2009).
20. E. Etkina, A. Karelina, and M. Ruibal-Villasenor, “ How long does it take? A study of student acquisition of scientific abilities,” Phys. Rev. ST-PER 4(2), 020108-115 (2008).
21. E. Etkina, A. Karelina, and M. Ruibal Villasenor, “ Studying transfer of scientific reasoning abilities,” in 2006 Physics Education Research Conference, Vol. 883, 2007.
22. E. Etkina, A. Karelina, M. Ruibal-Villasenor, D. Rosengrant, R. Jordan, and C. E. Hmelo-Silver, “ Design and reflection help students develop scientific abilities: Learning in introductory physics laboratories,” J. Learn. Sci. 19(1), 5498 (2010).
23. D. Brookes, private communication, July 2014.
24. D. B. May and E. Etkina, “ College physics students' epistemological self-reflection and its relationship to conceptual learning,” Am. J. Phys. 70(12), 12491258 (2002).
25. E. Etkina and A. Van Heuvelen, “ Investigative Science Learning Environment: Using the processes of science and cognitive strategies to learn physics,” in Proceedings of the 2001 Physics Education Research Conference. Rochester, NY, 2001, pp. 1721.
26.The Physics Union Mathematics (PUM) modules are available at <>.
27. E. Etkina, T. Matilsky, and M. Lawrence, “ Pushing to the edge: Rutgers astrophysics institute motivates talented high school students,” J. Res. Sci. Teach. 40(10), 958985 (2003).
28. D. Demaree and Y. Lin, “ Assessing ISLE labs as an enhancement to traditional large-lecture courses at the Ohio State University,” in 2005 Physics Education Research Conference, 2006, vol. 818, pp. 105108;
28. K. Visnjic, C. Sealfon, E. Laffey, and C. Riihimaki, “ ISLE-inspired Pilot Program at Princeton University,” Bull. Am. Phys. Soc. 59 (2014). Abstract ID: BAPS.2014.MAS.H6.2; available at
29. E. Etkina, “ Pedagogical content knowledge and preparation of high school physics teachers,” Phys. Rev. ST-PER 6(2), 020110-126 (2010).
30.The ISLE Physics Network website is available at <>.
31. E. Etkina and G. Planinšič, “ Light-emitting diodes: Exploration of underlying physics,” Phys. Teach. 52(4), 212218 (2014).

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This article is a written version of my acceptance speech upon receiving the Millikan Medal at the 2014 Summer AAPT meeting. In the talk I shared an approach to learning and teaching physics that engages students learning introductory physics in the processes that physicists use to construct physics concepts, physical quantities, and equations, as well as to solve problems. This article describes the origins of the method, its characteristic features, research on its implementation, and available resources.


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