ERIC Number: EJ852880
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
Effectiveness of Ninth-Grade Physics in Maine: Conceptual Understanding
O'Brien, Michael J.; Thompson, John R.
Physics Teacher, v47 n4 p234-239 Apr 2009
The Physics First movement--teaching a true physics course to ninth-grade students--is gaining popularity in high schools. There are several different rhetorical arguments for and against this movement, and it is quite controversial in physics education. However, there is no actual evidence to assess the success, or failure, of this substantial shift in the science teaching sequence. We have undertaken a comparison study of physics classes taught in ninth- and 12th-grade classes in Maine. Comparisons of student understanding and gains with respect to mechanics concepts were made with excerpts from well-known multiple-choice surveys and individual student interviews. Results indicate that both populations begin physics courses with similar content knowledge and specific difficulties, but when learning concepts, ninth-graders are more sensitive to the instructional method used.
Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Grade 9, Science Instruction, Secondary School Science, Instructional Effectiveness, Concept Formation, Scientific Concepts, High School Students, Comparative Analysis, Grade 12, Comprehension, Mechanics (Physics), Interviews, Surveys
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://scitation.aip.org/tpt
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 12; Grade 9; High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maine