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ERIC Number: EJ1076703
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: EISSN-1554-9178
Conceptual Problem Solving in High School Physics
Docktor, Jennifer L.; Strand, Natalie E.; Mestre, José P.; Ross, Brian H.
Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, v11 n2 p020106-1-020106-13 Jul-Dec 2015
Problem solving is a critical element of learning physics. However, traditional instruction often emphasizes the quantitative aspects of problem solving such as equations and mathematical procedures rather than qualitative analysis for selecting appropriate concepts and principles. This study describes the development and evaluation of an instructional approach called "Conceptual Problem Solving" (CPS) which guides students to identify principles, justify their use, and plan their solution in writing before solving a problem. The CPS approach was implemented by high school physics teachers at three schools for major theorems and conservation laws in mechanics and CPS-taught classes were compared to control classes taught using traditional problem solving methods. Information about the teachers' implementation of the approach was gathered from classroom observations and interviews, and the effectiveness of the approach was evaluated from a series of written assessments. Results indicated that teachers found CPS easy to integrate into their curricula, students engaged in classroom discussions and produced problem solutions of a higher quality than before, and students scored higher on conceptual and problem solving measures.
American Physical Society. One Physics Ellipse 4th Floor, College Park, MD 20740-3844. Tel: 301-209-3200; Fax: 301-209-0865; e-mail: assocpub@aps.org; Web site: http://prst-per.aps.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
IES Grant or Contract Numbers: DE R305B070085