ERIC Number: EJ1106780
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
High School Students' Representations and Understandings of Electric Fields
Cao, Ying; Brizuela, Bárbara M.
Physical Review Physics Education Research, v12 n2 p020102-1-020102-19 Jul-Dec 2016
This study investigates the representations and understandings of electric fields expressed by Chinese high school students 15 to 16 years old who have not received high school level physics instruction. The physics education research literature has reported students' conceptions of electric fields post-instruction as indicated by students' performance on textbook-style questions. It has, however, inadequately captured student ideas expressed in other situations yet informative to educational research. In this study, we explore students' ideas of electric fields pre-instruction as shown by students' representations produced in open-ended activities. 92 participant students completed a worksheet that involved drawing comic strips about electric charges as characters of a cartoon series. Three students who had spontaneously produced arrow diagrams were interviewed individually after class. We identified nine ideas related to electric fields that these three students spontaneously leveraged in the comic strip activity. In this paper, we describe in detail each idea and its situated context. As most research in the literature has understood students as having relatively fixed conceptions and mostly identified divergences in those conceptions from canonical targets, this study shows students' reasoning to be more variable in particular moments, and that variability includes common sense resources that can be productive for learning about electric fields.
Descriptors: High School Students, Energy, Grade 9, Summer Programs, Physics, Science Instruction, Equipment, Foreign Countries, Video Technology, Questionnaires, Interviews, Cartoons, Research Methodology
American Physical Society. One Physics Ellipse 4th Floor, College Park, MD 20740-3844. Tel: 301-209-3200; Fax: 301-209-0865; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://prst-per.aps.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Grade 9; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A