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ERIC Number: EJ1103902
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-9120
Helping Secondary School Students Develop a Conceptual Understanding of Refraction
Ashmann, Scott; Anderson, Charles W.; Boeckman, Heather
Physics Education, v51 n4 Article 045009 Jul 2016
Using real-world examples, ray diagrams, and a cognitive apprenticeship cycle, this paper focuses on developing students' conceptual (not mathematical) understanding of refraction. Refraction can be a difficult concept for students to comprehend if they do not have well-designed opportunities to practice explaining situations where reflection and refraction occur. The use of ray diagrams can be useful in (a) the teacher modelling a correct explanation to a situation where refraction occurs and (b) for students to create as they practice other examples. This paper includes eight examples of increasing complexity that use a cognitive apprenticeship cycle approach to scaffold student learning. The first examples (rock fish, floating penny) are shown and a solution is modeled using a ray diagram. Three more examples (bent pencil, dropping an item in water, sunrise/sunset) are presented for students to practice, with each becoming more sophisticated. Three assessment exercises are then provided (two dots, three coins, broken tube).
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan; Wisconsin
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A