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ERIC Number: EJ1061415
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 61
ISSN: ISSN-1544-0389
Going beyond Equations with Disciplinary Thinking in First-Year Physics
Syed, M. Qasim
Journal of College Teaching & Learning, v12 n2 p127-140 2015
Students in first-year physics courses generally focus on hunting for suitable equations and formulas when tackling a variety of physical situations and physics problems. There is a need for a framework that can guide them to disciplinary ways of thinking and help them begin to think like physicists. To serve this end, in this study, a framework of disciplinary thinking in physics was presented to the students and incorporated in the delivery of a first-year course on electricity and magnetism for engineering students. The framework consisted of three types of thinking: principle-based thinking (PBT), case-based thinking (CBT), and experiential-intuitive thinking (EIT). The students' experiences of learning this framework were tracked through weekly reflection reports, which were analyzed using a coding scheme comprised of the following four categories of increasing cognitive complexity for each type of thinking: mentioning the type of thinking learned without elaboration (code A), mentioning the type of thinking learned with elaboration (code B), applying the type of thinking learned (code C) and making meaning of the type of thinking learned (code D). Examples of students' reflections for these codes for each type of thinking are included. The students most predominantly reflected on PBT followed by CBT with a very few reflections on EIT. Within both PBT and CBT, most reflections fell under the code B. Overall, the results are encouraging and point to a students' shift from formula hunting to the thinking framework based strategies.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada