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ERIC Number: EJ1143389
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2469-9896
Case Study of a Successful Learner's Epistemological Framings of Quantum Mechanics
Dini, Vesal; Hammer, David
Physical Review Physics Education Research, v13 n1 p010124-1-1-010124-16 Jan-Jun 2017
Research on student epistemologies in introductory courses has highlighted the importance of understanding physics as "a refinement of everyday thinking" [A. Einstein, J. Franklin Inst. 221, 349 (1936)]. That view is difficult to sustain in quantum mechanics, for students as for physicists. How might students manage the transition? In this article, we present a case study of a graduate student's approaches and reflections on learning over two semesters of quantum mechanics, based on a series of nine interviews. We recount his explicit grappling with the shift in epistemology from classical to quantum, and we argue that his success in learning largely involved his framing mathematics as expressing physical meaning. At the same time, we show he was not entirely stable in these framings, shifting away from them in particular during his study of scattering. The case speaks to literature on students' epistemologies, with respect to the roles of everyday thinking and mathematics. We discuss what this case suggests for further research, with possible implications for instruction.
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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
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A