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ERIC Number: ED443722
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Developing Understanding through Confronting Varying Views: The Case of Solving Qualitative Physics Problems.
Tao, Ping-Kee
This study explored high school students' collaborative efforts in solving qualitative physics problems. It aimed to investigate whether and how confronting students with varying views help to improve their problem solving skills and develop better understanding of the underlying physics concepts. The varying views were provided to 18 grade 12 students by requiring them (a) to work in dyads on the problems during which they had to consider and confront each other's ideas; and (b) to consider, in a feedback session, multiple solutions to each problem, comparing the solutions with their own and reflecting on their mistakes. The study adopted F. Marton's theory of the structure of awareness as its theoretical underpinning--that is, the varying views would bring to the students' focal awareness, and thus enable them to discern, the different critical aspects of the problem situations. This would help them to develop conceptual understanding. The results show that confronting students with varying views can have three positive effects: (a) it enhanced students' understanding and improved their problem solving skill; (b) it induced students to reflect not only on the object of learning but also spontaneously to consider their approach to learning physics; and (c) it enabled students to see things differently and to consider, and possibly adopt, a new approach to learning physics. Importantly, the findings lend support to Marton's emerging theory. The paper ends with a discussion of the shortcomings and the educational implications of the study. (Contains 24 references.) (Author/YDS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong