Dr. Wiser received a bachelor's degree in oceanography from the University of Liege, Belgium in 1973 and a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981. She has been at Clark since that time.
Current Research and Teaching
Dr. Wiser is studying conceptual change in children, students, and the history of science. Her main topics of research are symbolic development and science learning. Current projects focus on the development of numerical knowledge and number notation in young children; the development of young children's understanding of the nature and function of printed words (pre-reading skills) and how they come to understand the alphabetic nature of our writing system; young children's ability to use models and maps; and young children's conception of matter, weight, and materials. Another topic of research is teaching and learning physics in high school, with special emphasis on microgenetic processes, mental models, parallels with history of science, and the integration of situated cognition approaches with theories of mental representations.
Smith, C., Wiser, M., Anderson, C., & Krajik, J. (in press). Implications of children’s learning for assessment. Measurement in Education.
Wiser, M. (in press). Learning science with models: Parallels with language learning. To appear in S. Vosniadou (Ed.), Philosophical, Historical, and Psychological Approaches to Conceptual Change: Implications for Education. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Anderson, C., Champagne, A., Coppola, B., Krajicik, J., Smith, C., & Wiser, M. (2004). Linking Research on Student Reasoning about Matter to Assessment .Interim Report to the Committee on Test Design for K-12 Science. National Academies of the Sciences. 41pp.