ERIC Number: ED382471
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Beating the System: Confronting Student Behaviors That Inhibit Conceptual Understanding of Introductory College Physics.
Dickinson, Valarie L.; Flick, Lawrence B.
The purpose of this study was to examine in detail the experiences of non-major undergraduate students progressing through an introductory physics course taught in a four-year research university, to discover why the students have these experiences, and to uncover the consequences of those experiences. A theory was developed for relating experiences of non-majors to other science-shy students attempting to learn science. A qualitative study of 26 students, one professor, one teaching assistant who taught the lab sessions, and one lab supervisor in a summer session of an introductory physics course taught at a state research university was conducted. The study describes reactions of introductory college science instructors to the experiences of the students, and provides implications for introductory college science teaching. Analysis of results finds that activities engaged in by students did not contribute to most students' understandings of the content but rather to simply getting through the course. Suggestions are made for improving physics instruction in a traditional classroom. (LZ)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (San Francisco, CA, April 1995).