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ERIC Number: EJ1130089
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: EISSN-2469-9896
Test on the Effectiveness of the Sum over Paths Approach in Favoring the Construction of an Integrated Knowledge of Quantum Physics in High School
Malgieri, Massimiliano; Onorato, Pasquale; De Ambrosis, Anna
Physical Review Physics Education Research, v13 n1 p010101-1-010101-25 Jan-Jun 2017
In this paper we present the results of a research-based teaching-learning sequence on introductory quantum physics based on Feynman's sum over paths approach in the Italian high school. Our study focuses on students' understanding of two founding ideas of quantum physics, wave particle duality and the uncertainty principle. In view of recent research reporting the fragmentation of students' mental models of quantum concepts after initial instruction, we collected and analyzed data using the assessment tools provided by knowledge integration theory. Our results on the group of n = 14 students who performed the final test indicate that the functional explanation of wave particle duality provided by the sum over paths approach may be effective in leading students to build consistent mental models of quantum objects, and in providing them with a unified perspective on both the photon and the electron. Results on the uncertainty principle are less clear cut, as the improvements over traditional instruction appear less significant. Given the low number of students in the sample, this work should be interpreted as a case study, and we do not attempt to draw definitive conclusions. However, our study suggests that (i) the sum over paths approach may deserve more attention from researchers and educators as a possible route to introduce basic concepts of quantum physics in high school, and (ii) more research should be focused not only on the correctness of students' mental models on individual concepts, but also on the ability of students to connect different ideas and experiments related to quantum theory in an organized whole.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy