Research


Natural science does not simply describe and explain nature;

it is part of the interplay between nature and ourselves;

it describers nature as exposed to our nature of questioning.

- Werner Heisenberg


Magdalena Kersting in front of a blackboard
(Image Magdalena Kersting, All Rights Reserved)

What is space? What is time? What is inside a black hole? I am naturally curious and have always been fascinated by science. Over the years, I have become equally intrigued by humans and their ability to make meaning of science and the complex world around them. In my research, I study this meaning perspective to find better ways of teaching science. I have a particular interest in embodied learning processes, and I study how learners experience abstract knowledge in digital and virtual learning environments in formal and informal learning contexts.

 

Broadly, my research falls within modern science education which encompasses

  • modern learning domains such as Einsteinian physics and gravitational wave astronomy,
  • modern forms of delivery such as digital and virtual learning environments,
  • modern theories of knowledge and learning such as embodied cognition and sociocultural theory.


Studying learning is a complex task because of the intricate interplay of parameters at multiple levels: from the biological bases of cognition, to the individual psychological level of conceptual development and the collective sociocultural dimension of collaborative learning.
 To understand learning processes in science, I approach my research with curiosity and an openness to theoretical and methodological approaches from other disciplines, among them philosophy, cognitive science, and the learning sciences. This intellectual openness and curiosity across disciplines is one of the reasons I find science education research so exciting 🤓