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ERIC Number: EJ1004317
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-1554-9178
Students' Epistemological Beliefs, Expectations, and Learning Physics: An International Comparison
Sharma, Sapna; Ahluwalia, P. K.; Sharma, S. K.
Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, v9 n1 p010117-1-010117-13 Jan-Jun 2013
It has been established by physics education researchers that there is a correlation between the learner's behavior, their epistemological beliefs with which they come to the classrooms, and their success in a course. This study of Indian students and teachers explores expectations and beliefs in learning physics at the secondary and tertiary levels by making use of the Maryland Physics Expectation (MPEX) survey, which has been tested for both its validity and its reliability. The MPEX was administered to a sample of 265 Indian students at three different levels of study: (i) XII standard (high school), (ii) undergraduate (Bachelor of Science), and (iii) master's degree (Master of Science in Physics, MS). In India, a pre-post instruction difference between the attitudes of class XII, undergraduate, and master's students is observed with favorable improvement in master's students as compared to deterioration in both class XII and undergraduate students. A comparison of these results with those reported in similar studies conducted in four other countries (U.S., Turkey, Philippines, and Thailand) indicates that there is a difference between the U.S. students and those of the other three countries and also between U.S. experts and Indian teachers. In all countries (U.S., India, Turkey, Thailand, and Philippines) the basic trend of expectation from pre to post test remained the same--there was a deterioration observed in all levels of students. Indian MS students were an exception. A significant difference was observed in the expectations of U.S. experts and Indian teachers. The score of favorable views of Indian class XII and undergraduate students was observed to be less than U.S. students in many clusters. No significant difference was found between Indian male and female students' expectations at any level of study. This study shows that most Indian students have nowhere near an expert's expectations even after instruction, which might affect their motivation and success in physics courses and may have long-term implications on the quality of physics education in schools, colleges. and universities and the scientific research aspirations of the country. (Contains 9 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India; Philippines; Thailand; Turkey; United States