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Many proven research-based instructional strategies have been developed for introductory college-level physics. Significant efforts to disseminate these strategies have focused on convincing individual instructors to give up their traditional practices in favor of particular research-based practices. Yet evidence suggests that the findings of educational research are, at best, only marginally incorporated into typical introductory physics courses. In this paper we present partial results of an interview study designed to generate new ideas about why proven strategies are slow to integrate in mainstream instruction. Specifically we describe the results of open-ended interviews with five physics instructors who represent likely users of educational research. We found that these instructors have conceptions about teaching and learning that are more compatible with educational research than with their self-described instructional practices. Instructors often blamed this discrepancy on situational factors that favor traditional instruction. A theoretical model is introduced to explain these findings.
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