ERIC Number: ED229238
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
Effecting Changes in Cognitive Structures Amongst Physics Students.
Champagne, Audrey B.; And Others
The existence, before any formal physics instruction, of schemata which lead to an idiosyncratic interpretation of real world events, which physicists see as exemplifying principles of physics, is now well established. Because these interpretations are often at variance with physicists' interpretations, they have been labeled, among others, "alternative schemas," or "misconceptions." Studies suggest that these schema are extremely resistant to change during formal instruction, particularly in mechanics. Consequently, there has been considerable interest in attempts to design instruction to facilitate cognitive structure change. Several strategies, derived from detailed descriptions of the cognitive structures and problem-solving strategies of individuals with various levels of physics and expertise, appear to be promising. Provided in this report is the current status of investigations of the extent to which the strategies do facilitate change, identification of strategy features which may be significant in promoting change, and the appropriate modification of the strategies in light of their use. The report includes a brief description of the broad structure of the instruction and probes used to gather information about aspects of students' cognitive structures (middle school students: N=13 and college students N=6), results (indicating a change in cognitive structure of the college student), and conclusions. (JN)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, Cognitive Processes, College Science, Comprehension, Concept Formation, Elementary School Science, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Physics, Problem Solving, Schemata (Cognition), Science Education, Science Instruction, Secondary School Science, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Misconceptions; Science Education Research
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Canada, April, 1983).