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Showing 1 to 15 of 316 results Save | Export
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Lee, Hyunju; Schneider, Stephen E. – Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 2015
Many topics in introductory astronomy at the college or high-school level rely implicitly on using astronomical photographs and visual data in class. However, students bring many preconceptions to their understanding of these materials that ultimately lead to misconceptions, and research about students' interpretation of astronomical images has…
Descriptors: Astronomy, Misconceptions, Photography, Investigations
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Lin, Shih-Yin; Singh, Chandralekha – Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 2015
It is well known that introductory physics students often have alternative conceptions that are inconsistent with established physical principles and concepts. Invoking alternative conceptions in the quantitative problem-solving process can derail the entire process. In order to help students solve quantitative problems involving strong…
Descriptors: Scaffolding (Teaching Technique), Introductory Courses, Physics, Problem Solving
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Barthelemy, Ramón S.; Van Dusen, Ramón S.; Henderson, Charles – Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 2015
Women currently outnumber men in obtaining undergraduate degrees but are underrepresented within STEM fields. However, women's representation varies by STEM field, and even further by STEM subfield. One field that has held a persistent low representation of women is physics. This paper seeks to uncover the truth behind an anecdotal claim that the…
Descriptors: Physics, STEM Education, Females, Disproportionate Representation
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Jones, David J.; Madison, Kirk W.; Wieman, Carl E. – Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 2015
We present a study of active learning pedagogies in an upper-division physics course. This work was guided by the principle of deliberate practice for the development of expertise, and this principle was used in the design of the materials and the orchestration of the classroom activities of the students. We present our process for efficiently…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Active Learning, Optics
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Zwickl, Benjamin M.; Hu, Dehui; Finkelstein, Noah; Lewandowski, H. J. – Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 2015
We review and extend existing frameworks on modeling to develop a new framework that describes model-based reasoning in introductory and upper-division physics laboratories. Constructing and using models are core scientific practices that have gained significant attention within K-12 and higher education. Although modeling is a broadly applicable…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Laboratories, Models, Interviews
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Wittmann, Michael C.; Black, Katrina E. – Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 2015
Students learning to separate variables in order to solve a differential equation have multiple ways of correctly doing so. The procedures involved in "separation" include "division" or "multiplication" after properly "grouping" terms in an equation, "moving" terms (again, at times grouped) from…
Descriptors: Mathematics, Calculus, Problem Solving, Mechanics (Physics)
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Singh, Chandralekha; Marshman, Emily – Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 2015
Learning advanced physics, in general, is challenging not only due to the increased mathematical sophistication but also because one must continue to build on all of the prior knowledge acquired at the introductory and intermediate levels. In addition, learning quantum mechanics can be especially challenging because the paradigms of classical…
Descriptors: Mechanics (Physics), Quantum Mechanics, Science Instruction, Logical Thinking
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Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha – Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 2015
Compared with introductory physics, relatively little is known about the development of expertise in advanced physics courses, especially in the case of quantum mechanics. Here, we describe a framework for understanding the patterns of student reasoning difficulties and how students develop expertise in quantum mechanics. The framework posits that…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Quantum Mechanics, Mechanics (Physics), Logical Thinking
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Sayre, Eleanor C.; Irving, Paul W. – Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 2015
Instructors and researchers think "thinking like a physicist" is important for students' professional development. However, precise definitions and observational markers remain elusive. We reinterpret popular beliefs inventories in physics to indicate what physicists think thinking like a physicist entails. Through discourse analysis of…
Descriptors: Metacognition, Physics, Scientists, Science Process Skills
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Roundy, David; Weber, Eric; Dray, Tevian; Bajracharya, Rabindra R.; Dorko, Allison; Smith, Emily M.; Manogue, Corinne A. – Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 2015
Partial derivatives are used in a variety of different ways within physics. Thermodynamics, in particular, uses partial derivatives in ways that students often find especially confusing. We are at the beginning of a study of the teaching of partial derivatives, with a goal of better aligning the teaching of multivariable calculus with the needs of…
Descriptors: Physics, Mathematics, Engineering, Expertise
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Scott, Terry F.; Schumayer, Daniel – Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 2015
In this paper we present a series of item response models of data collected using the Force Concept Inventory. The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) was designed to poll the Newtonian conception of force viewed as a multidimensional concept, that is, as a complex of distinguishable conceptual dimensions. Several previous studies have developed…
Descriptors: Scores, Item Response Theory, Science Tests, Physics
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Haglund, Jesper; Jeppsson, Fredrik; Hedberg, David; Schönborn, Konrad J. – Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 2015
Thermal science is challenging for students due to its largely imperceptible nature. Handheld infrared cameras offer a pedagogical opportunity for students to see otherwise invisible thermal phenomena. In the present study, a class of upper secondary technology students (N = 30) partook in four IR-camera laboratory activities, designed around the…
Descriptors: Heat, Physics, Science Laboratories, Science Activities
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Heckler, Andrew F.; Scaife, Thomas M. – Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 2015
A small number of studies have investigated student understanding of vector addition and subtraction in generic or introductory physics contexts, but in almost all cases the questions posed were in the vector arrow representation. In a series of experiments involving over 1000 students and several semesters, we investigated student understanding…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Scientific Concepts, Concept Formation
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Rodriguez, Idaykis; Goertzen, Renee Michelle; Brewe, Eric; Kramer, Laird H. – Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 2015
We investigate the development of expert identities through the use of the sociocultural perspective of learning as participating in a community of practice. An ethnographic case study of biophysics graduate students focuses on the experiences the students have in their research group meetings. The analysis illustrates how the communities of…
Descriptors: Professional Identity, Communities of Practice, Ethnography, Case Studies
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Shubert, Christopher W.; Meredith, Dawn C. – Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 2015
Students' epistemologies affect how and what they learn: do they believe physics is a list of equations, or a coherent and sensible description of the physical world? In order to study these epistemologies as part of curricular assessment, we adopt the resources framework, which posits that students have many productive epistemological resources…
Descriptors: Epistemology, Recall (Psychology), Physics, Educational Environment
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