The goal of this book is to introduce a reader to a new philosophy of teaching and learning physics - Investigative Science Learning Environment, or ISLE (pronounced as a small island).
ISLE is an example of an "intentional" approach to curriculum design and learning activities (MacMillan and Garrison 1988 A Logical Theory of Teaching: Erotetics and Intentionality). Intentionality means that the process through which the learning occurs is as crucial for learning as the final outcome or learned content. In ISLE, the process through which students learn mirrors the practice of physics.
Eugenia Etkina is a Distinguished Professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She holds a PhD in physics education from Moscow State Pedagogical University and has more than 35 years of experience teaching physics. Professor Etkina designed and now coordinates one of the largest programs in physics teacher preparation in the United States, conducts professional development for high school and university physics instructors, and participates in reforms to the undergraduate physics courses. In 1993 she developed a system in which students learn physics using processes that mirror scientific practice, Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE), which is described in this book. She is the lead author of the textbook College Physics: Explore and Apply and the Active Learning Guide. Professor Etkina has conducted over 130 workshops for physics instructors, and published over 100 peer-refereed articles.