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ERIC Number: EJ961981
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-0126-7663
Undergraduate Students' Preferences of Knowledge to Solve Particle Mechanics Problems
Luneta, Kakoma; Makonye, Judah P.
Journal of Science and Mathematics Education in Southeast Asia, v34 n2 p237-261 2011
This study explores the nature of undergraduate students' errors and misconceptions in particle mechanics. This paper provides in-depth descriptions of the errors presented by students and accounts for them in terms of students' procedural or conceptual knowledge. Specifically, this study analyses students' written responses to questions on dynamics and the conservation of momentum. A total of 154 student scripts in 2005 and 142 scripts in 2006 were analysed for errors and misconceptions regarding these mechanics concepts. In addition, a questionnaire was administered to students on which they stated which type of knowledge (procedural or conceptual) was more useful in answering these questions. Overall, the findings of this study suggest that students make regular errors for which there are complex causes. It was also found that students' procedural and conceptual knowledge of a subject has a bearing on the errors and misconceptions that they make. The paper concludes with some suggestions for how errors and misconceptions can be diagnosed and analysed. It highlights the importance of error analysis as a teaching skill. (Contains 5 figures, 3 tables and 1 footnote.)
Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Education in Science and Mathematics (SEAMEO RECSAM). Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 11700 Gelugor, Penang, Malaysia. Tel: +011-60-4-658-3266; Fax: +011-60-4-657-2541; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Asia