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Helping physics students learn how to learn
1.Edward F. Redish, Jeffery M. Saul, and Richard N. Steinberg, “Student expectations in introductory physics,” Am. J. Phys. 66 (3), 212–224 (1998).
2.David M. Hammer, “Epistemological beliefs in introductory physics,” Cogn. Instruct. 12 (2), 151–183 (1994);
2.David M. Hammer, “Two approaches to learning physics,” Phys. Teach. 27 (9), 664–670 (1989).
3.For instance, see Marlene Schommer, “The effects of beliefs about the nature of knowledge in comprehension,” J. Ed. Psych. 82 (3), 498–504 (1990);
3.Marlene Schommer, Amy Crouse, and Nancy Rhodes, “Epistemological beliefs and mathematical text comprehension: Believing it is simple does not make it so,” J. Ed. Psych. 84, 435–443 (1992);
3.Nancy B. Songer and Marcia C. Linn, “How do students’ views of science influence knowledge integration?,” in Students’ Models and Epistemologies of Science, edited by M. C. Linn, N. B. Songer, and E. L. Lewis (1991), Vol. 28, pp. 761–784;
3.Barbara Y. White, “Thinkertools—Causal models, conceptual change, and science education,” Cogn. Instruct. 10 (1), 1–100 (1993).
4.Marlene Schommer, “Epistemological Development and Academic Performance Among Secondary Students,” J. Ed. Psych. 85, 406–411 (1993).
5.Researchers disagree about where to draw the boundaries around epistemology and metacognition. My arguments don’t rely on a precise choice of boundary between the two concepts.
6.At a bigger high school, many of my students might have opted for an “honors” physics class or a “conceptual” (low-math) physics class.
7.See http://www.physics.umd.edu/rgroups/ripe/perg/expects/mpex.htm for the full survey.
8.Barbara White, Andrew Elby, John Frederiksen, and Christina Schwarz, “The Epistemological Beliefs Assessment for Physical Science,” presented at the American Education Research Association, Montreal, 1999 (unpublished).
9.Lillian C. McDermott, Peter S. Shaffer, and the Physics Education Group, Tutorials in Introductory Physics, Preliminary ed. (Prentice–Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1998).
9.For discussion, see Lillian C. McDermott and Peter S. Shaffer, “Research as a guide for curriculum development: An example from introductory electricity. I. Investigation of student understanding,” Am. J. Phys. 60 (11), 994–1003 (1992).
10.Patricia Heller, Ron Keith, and S. Anderson, “Teaching problem solving through cooperative grouping. 1. Group vs individual problem solving,” Am. J. Phys. 60 (7), 627–636 (1992).
11.Priscilla W. Laws, “Workshop physics: Replacing lectures with real experience,” in Computers in Physics Instruction: Proceedings, edited by E. F. Redish and J. S. Risley (Addison–Wesley, Reading, MA, 1989);
11.“Calculus-based physics without lectures,” Phys. Today 44 (12), 24–31 (1991);
11.“New approaches to science and mathematics teaching at liberal arts colleges,” Deadalus 128 (1), 217–240 (1999).
12.Richard R. Hake, “Interactive-engagement vs traditional methods: A six-thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses,” Am. J. Phys. 66 (1), 64–74 (1998).
13.To get a sense of the correspondence, we can calculate the correlation coefficient between students’ scores on an EBAPS subscale and their scores on the corresponding MPEX cluster. The correlation between EBAPS Structure of Knowledge and the sum of MPEX Concepts and Coherence is 0.65. The correlation between EBAPS Nature of Learning and MPEX Independence is 0.42. Those correlations are both statistically significant to By contrast, the correlation between EBAPS Real-life applicability and MPEX Reality link is only 0.23, which is of marginal statistical significance The low correlation reflects a substantive difference between the two subscales. MPEX Reality link focuses partly on students’ views about whether they will use physics concepts outside the classroom, whereas EBAPS focuses more on students views about whether, in principle, classroom physics concepts describe phenomena in the real world.
14.Marlene Schommer, Amy Crouse, and Nancy Rhodes, “Epistemological beliefs and mathematical text comprehension: Believing it is simple does not make it so,” J. Ed. Psych. 84, 435–443 (1992).
15.After we finished Newtonian mechanics, my students achieved an average score of 84% on the Force Concept Inventory, comparable to the post-test scores of Harvard students; see Hake (Ref. 12). I did not give my students the FCI as a pre-test. An independent sample of 250 other 11th grade physics students at the same school took the FCI as a pre-test, achieving an average score of 32%. My California students did not take the FCI but generally performed well on FCI-like questions included on tests, including those presented in Sec. IV D.
16.David R. Sokoloff, Ronald K. Thornton, and Priscilla W. Laws, RealTime Physics: Active Learning Laboratories (Wiley, New York, 1999).
16.For discussion, see Ronald K. Thornton and David R. Sokoloff, “Learning motion concepts using real-time microcomputer-based laboratory tools,” Am. J. Phys. 58 (9), 858–868 (1990).
17.See Eric Mazur, Peer Instruction: A User’s Manual (Prentice–Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1997).
18.“The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking. It is for this reason that the critical thinking of the physicist cannot possibly be restricted to the examination of concepts from his own specific field.
18.He cannot proceed without considering critically a much more difficult problem, the problem of analyzing the nature of everyday thinking.”—Albert Einstein, “Physics and Reality,” J. Franklin Inst. 221, (1936).
19.David M. Hammer, “Students’ beliefs about conceptual knowledge in introductory physics,” Int. J. Sci. Educ. 16 (4), 385–403 (1994).
20.Many textbooks come with an instructor’s solution manual or a study guide with worked problems. Other sources of problems with detailed solutions include Andrew Elby, The Portable T.A.: A Physics Problem Solving Guide. Volume 2, 2nd ed. (Prentice–Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1998);
20.Research and Education Association and M. Fogiel, The Physics Problem Solver (REA, New York, 1976).
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