ERIC Number: ED344892
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Knowledge Is Not Always What We Take It To Be: Issues in the Assessment of Students' Understandings of Motion.
The ways in which knowledge of mechanical motion is affected by contextual factors of assessment such as means of depiction (ranging from abstract to contextualized) and the effect of sequencing of contexts (from abstract to contextualized or contextualized to abstract) on students' display of knowledge were studied for 40 fifth graders in two inner-city desegregated elementary schools. Students' conceptions of projectile motion were assessed by analyzing their depictions of motion through sketches, their explanations of motion, and one-on-one videotaped interviews. Twenty-three percent of the students could represent predictions of projectile motion accurately through sketches, but could not provide valid explanations of their predictions. Eighteen percent could provide valid explanations but inaccurate sketches of their predictions of projectile motion. As the complexity of the motion increased, contextualized images caused more confusion than did the more abstract images. When the factor order of the contexts is considered, data for projectile motion indicate that when the most contextualized context (videotape) is used, more students sketch accurately. The physical context in which a context is assessed affects what is assessed. More than one-third of the predictions were accurate in sketch or explanation, but not in both. In single context assessment, these predictions could have been misinterpreted. Two tables, 14 graphs, and 43 references are included. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Contextualization; Sketching
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (March 23, 1992).