INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON PHYSICS EDUCATION: ICPE‐2009
1263(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3479888View Description Hide Description
Even before the discovery of X‐rays, attempts at non‐invasive medical imaging required an understanding of fundamental principles of physics. Students frequently do not see these connections because they are not taught in beginning physics courses. To help students understand that physics and medical imaging are closely connected, we have developed a series of active learning units. For each unit we begin by studying how students transfer their knowledge from traditional physics classes and everyday experiences to medical applications. Then, we build instructional materials to take advantage of the students’ ability to use their existing learning and knowledge resources. Each of the learning units involves a combination of hands‐on activities, which present analogies, and interactive computer simulations. Our learning units introduce students to the contemporary imaging techniques of CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and wavefront aberrometry. The project’s web site is http://web.phys.ksu.edu/mmmm/.
1263(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3479904View Description Hide Description
Many topics in basic physics are presented to the students based on examples that they find too intangible, uninteresting and unrelated to the real world. We propose here some examples from the biological world that can equally be used to illustrate seemingly arcane physical principles and laws  . Energetic aspects of the Krebs Cycle, the Calvin Cycle, and the ion pump can make learning of thermodynamics and electricity much more realistic. The contraction relaxation cycle of a muscle sarcomere can be used to represent that of a machine “photographs” of the sarcomere and large biopolymers such as ordered protein and nucleic acid structures illustrate Bragg’s Law about regular submicron distances as well as those from crystals of inorganic salts. Movements of nanostructures of the proton pump subunits and sliding filaments are just as good for calculation of the moment of inertia and mechanical energy involved. Transport of sugars made from photosynthesis in the leaf into the fruit can pose problems about concentration gradient very realistically. Aspect about light such as absorption and fluorescence of biological molecules such as chlorophylls and rhodopsins should make such phenomena more interesting and real. Interference of visible light from feathers and scales should also be used to showchanges of apparent colors and patterns when viewed from different angles. Circular dichroism and streaming birefringence of biological macromolecules should make students appreciate polarization better.
1263(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3479849View Description Hide Description
Starting in 1996, newly hired college and university faculty in physics and astronomy from throughout the U.S. have been invited to attend a workshop to help them improve their teaching skills. More than 1000 faculty have participated, representing more than 25% of the new hires at all U. S. institutions that award a baccalaureate in physics or astronomy, from 4‐year colleges through research universities. The workshops seek to improve physics teaching by introducing new faculty to instructional strategies and innovations that have been shown to be effective in a variety of contexts. Such a national mentoring workshop can effectively address a commonality of physics and astronomy teaching challenges that transcend institutional characters and types. Based on surveys of the participants (and their department chairs), we have found that a large fraction of the participants have become adopters of innovative teaching techniques and that they rate the workshops as the most significant cause of the improvements in their teaching.
1263(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3479860View Description Hide Description
The results of physics education research and the availability of microcomputer‐based tools have led to the development over a number of years of the activity‐based Physics Suite. Most of the Suite materials are designed for hands‐on learning, for example student‐oriented laboratory curricula like Real Time Physics . One reason for the success of these materials is that they encourage students to take an active role in their learning. More recently, personal response systems (clickers) have become available at many schools and universities around the world, and are used by many educators. This paper describes Suite materials designed to promote active learning in lecture—Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs)—that have been adapted for implementation with clickers. Image formation ILDs will be presented. Results of studies on the effectiveness of this approach will also be presented.
1263(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3479884View Description Hide Description
Recently in Japan, there is growing interest in scientific literacy and education on it. In order to make various people to learn scientific literacy, we, the faculty members of the universities in Nagoya, established an organization, Nagoya Science Literacy Forum. We have hosted events as to scientific literacy and science experiments for students, faculty members, and the general public. In these events, we give them opportunities to learn scientific literacy and consider it with enjoying the science experiments. In this article, we show firstly an outline of education on scientific literacy in Japan, and then introduce our activities.
1263(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3479885View Description Hide Description
This research aimed to develop 48 Grade 10 students’ learning process and metacognitive strategies in the ‘Nuclear Energy’ topic through the Science, Technology and Society (STS) approach. The STS teaching approach consists of five stages: identification of social issues, identification of potential solutions, need for knowledge, decision‐making, and socialization. he data were analyzed through rubric score of learning process and metacognitive strategies, which consists of five strategies: Recalling, Planning, Monitoring and Maintaining, Evaluating, and Relating. The findings revealed that most students used learning process in a high level. They performed a very low level in almost all of the metacognitive strategies. The factors potentially impeded their development of awareness about learning process and metacognitive strategies were characteristics of content and students, learning processes, and student habit.
1263(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3479886View Description Hide Description
Much physics education research (PER) has been focussed on the process of learning, without questioning the suitability of the subject matter. In this paper I focus on a research‐based approach to course content which aims to avoid later unlearning. I describe a rationale and an associated methodology for restructuring physics knowledge in order to make it more accessible and digestible for novice learners. There are three stages: (1) selection of the students’ final knowledge state and analysis of its structure as defined in standard texts (the canonical knowledge); (2) analysis of the structures of knowledge about the physical world held by typical naive students (the novice knowledge) as revealed by PER; (3) generation of new knowledge structures linking novice knowledge to canonical knowledge, using contexts and examples which build upon students’ experiences and real‐world knowledge. The first stage involves judgments about the desired canonical knowledge, selecting what the teacher considers to be the really important learning outcomes and ignoring, at least temporarily, traditional intermediate steps. The second stage makes extensive use of published findings about relevant primitive knowledge elements and conceptual structures commonly used by students when they start a physics course. It also includes selection of common pre‐conceptions which can be used in a constructive way. An important goal of the third stage is to optimise the path from naive knowledge to canonical knowledge, eliminating unnecessary or peripheral items, while maintaining the logical rigor of the accepted canon. The restructured knowledge maps should provide course outlines and scaffolding for revised texts. I include one practice example.
1263(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3479889View Description Hide Description
Physics/science education in the communicative conception is defined as the continuous transfer of the knowledge and methods of physics into the minds of individuals who have not participated in creating them. This process, called the educational communication of physics/science, is performed by various educational agents—teachers, curriculum makers, textbook designers, university teachers and does not mean only a simple transfer of information, but it also involves teaching and instruction at all levels of the school system, the study, learning, and cognition of pupils, students and all other learners, the assessment and evaluation of learning outcomes, curriculum composition and design, the production of textbooks and other means of educational communication and, in addition, university education and the further training of teachers. The educational communication is carried out by the curriculum process of physics/science, which is a sequence of variant forms of curriculum mutually interconnected by curriculum transformations. The variant forms of curriculum are as follows: conceptual curriculum, intended curriculum, project (written) curriculum, operational curriculum, implemented curriculum, and attained curriculum.
Processes and Instructions Encouraging Thai Students Consistently Pass the First Round of The National Physics Academics Olympiads1263(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3479890View Description Hide Description
This research focused on the processes and physics instruction of 25 schools located in Bangkok and up‐country in Thailand in order to explain why many of their students have passed the first round of the National Physics Academic Olympiads consistently. The high schools in Thailand can apply and support their students and develop their potential in physics. The development of physics professional is the cornerstone of a developing country and increase physics quality base on sciences development in the future in Thailand. The duration of collecting all data was from May 2007 to May 2009. The methodology for this research was the qualitative research method. The researchers interviewed managers, teachers and students at each school location or used semi‐structured interview forms. The researchers used the Investigator Triangulation approach to check the qualitative data and the Cause and Effect Analysis approach to analyze situation factors. The results showed that in processes were include 1) enhanced the students with the Academic Olympiads to develop the capacities of students; 2) motivated the students with processes such as good instruction in physics and special privilege in continuing studies in university; and 3) tutorial systems and drill and practice systems support students into subsequent rounds. 4) Admiration activities accommodated the students continually and suitably. Most of the teaching styles used in their lectures, in both basic contents and practice, encouraged students to analyze entrance examination papers, little laboratory. While students say that” They just know that a physics laboratory is very important to study physics after they passed Olympic camp.”
1263(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3479891View Description Hide Description
It is believed that there are three essential abilities which a student develops through a set of introductory physics laboratory courses. These abilities include 1) conceptual understanding, 2) experimental skills, and 3) procedural understanding. While the first two are well accepted, the third one is often implicit and goes behind the planning and execution of experimental physics. Procedural understanding has been described by a number of researchers including R. Gott and S. Duggan , and R. Roberts . The author in his work  has adopted the approach of these researchers and extended it to physics laboratory training at the university level. Procedural understanding is the understanding of a set of ideas or concepts related to the ‘knowing how’ of science and needed to put science into practice. It is the understanding of ‘concepts of evidence’ like variable identification, sample size, variable types, relative scale, range, interval, choice of instruments, repeatability, graph type, etc. It is the thinking behind the doing and is a kind of cognitive understanding in its own right.
It has been observed that while school (Grade 1–12) teachers are reasonably prepared to help students with respect to the development of conceptual understanding and experimental skills, a few are aware of the contents, methods and strategies related to the development of procedural understanding. It is felt that school teachers can play a very important role in helping students to develop procedural understanding at an early stage of their education and before students enter university courses.
A need was felt to initiate and promote well‐planned teacher improvement programmes at various levels of school education, with an objective to develop procedural understanding and understand the strategies of teaching suitable for various regions and learning environments. The author has initiated one such programme in India and will present details of a workshop organized at Mumbai, India.
1263(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3479892View Description Hide Description
We surveyed 218 science students’ from a Thai University for their views about what should be done to improve the introductory physics laboratory course. One of their responses strongly recommended that the real life application contents to the experiment should be indicated in the physics laboratory direction. The inclusions should give them a clear reason how the thing they learn from the experiment can probably be used in their lives. From our survey, about 83% of students agreed that the laboratory instruction should include an example of real life situation. Therefore, our initial goal was to find an appropriate way to improve students’ awareness of linking what they learn from the experiment with their real life experiences. In the first semester of 2008, the first trial of modified physics laboratory direction was carried out with 18 second year physics students. The additional contents of physics applications were introduced as the prolog of the physics laboratory direction. Four out of twelve experiment directions were prepared to include this additional introduction. From our interview as a mean to evaluate the proposal, only 11% of students could explain but their answers disagreed with the examples of real life situations given within the experiment direction. This result made us realized that this was not only the matter of having or not having the application messages but also the matter of putting the massages in the right place. In the second semester of 2008, the second trial was carried out. This time, the application contents were blended into the theoretical part which was found from our separate survey to be one of the most interesting parts for students. Again, four out of twelve experiment directions were prepared in this proposed style. The students’ responses showed that about 40% of students could clearly describe the application message relevant to experiments given in the direction.
1263(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3479893View Description Hide Description
LADY CATS (LADY Creators of Activities for Teaching Science) is an organization of science teachers. Our group includes a lot of female teachers, which is rather unusual in the field of physics. We would like to propose and exhibit beautiful and simple science experiments that can demonstrate the principles of physics to fascinate students’ interest. These experiments are easily made and low‐cost. It is also aimed to catch female and humanities students’ eyes on physics from the view point of female teachers. Furthermore, we believe that these ideas help resolve gender problems and support non‐specialist teachers in primary school.
1263(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3479894View Description Hide Description
We hold many science events for non‐scientists such as primary school students and their parents in a year. We prepare and carry out these events with students who are mainly fast‐track students belonging to our center. We encourage them to be instructors in some events, and they teach simple science experiments to children and their parents. While they have experiences to hold several events, they learn a lot of science knowledge and experiments gradually, and become so‐called science volunteer leaders. In this article, we consider the meaning of educating science volunteer leaders such as them.
1263(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3479895View Description Hide Description
The frictional force is one of the obstacles to learning in physics. By itself, this topic consists of complicated ideas. In this study, we have investigated Thai students’ ideas about directions and types of frictional forces by using open‐ended questions and interviews. For example, these students believed that the direction of the frictional force always opposes to that of the motion or that of the external force exerted to such object. Moreover, most students thought that the frictional forces are resistant forces involving the object movement. They did not realize that sometimes the frictional force causes the object to move; has the same direction of the motion as well. About the kinetic friction, most students thought that if an object moves, it will always have the kinetic friction at the contact areas. From what we have found, we suggest that important steps for improving students’ understanding of frictional forces is to teach students to draw free body diagrams, which can help students to visualize all forces acting on a single object.
Physics Teaching and Learning Methods: Comparison between the Developed and Developing Country Approach1263(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3479897View Description Hide Description
As a fundamental basis of all natural science and technology, Physics is the key subject in many science teaching institutions around the world. Physics teaching and learning is the most important issue today—because of its complexity and fast growing applications in many new fields. The laws of Physics are global—but teaching and learning methods of Physics are very different among countries and cultures. When I first came in Australia for higher education about 11 years ago with an undergraduate and a graduate degree in Physics from a university of Bangladesh, I found the Physics education system in Australia is very different to what I have experienced in Bangladesh. After having two graduate degrees from two Australian universities and gaining few years experience in Physics teaching in Australian universities, I compare the two different types of Physics education experiences in this paper and tried to find the answer of the question—does it all depend on the resources or internal culture of the society or both. Undergraduate and graduate level Physics syllabi, resources and teaching methods, examination and assessment systems, teacher‐student relationships, and research cultures are discussed and compared with those in Australia.
1263(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3479898View Description Hide Description
The development of ability for technology and invention is required as self‐sustaining growth of science and technology in Asian and African developing countries. Science education that connects to the real world is the required education for the self‐sustaining growth. But in fact, it is very common to study for the entrance examination. According to C. Camilla, S. and Sjo/berg, [The Re‐emergence of Values in the Science Curriculum. Rotterdam, 2007, Sense Publishers], Ugandan students are the most interested ones in science and technology (I would like to be a scientist, I would like to get a job in technology) in the world. Science education should mortgages future of youth. Especially science education of developing countries should be directly connected to the real world. Because they need a lot of engineers as skilled worker, we implemented physics education that was directly connected with manufacturing by the sci‐edu. support project in Uganda. The best results were achieved by contrivance in spite of poverty area. Our education method gave one form of New Science Education in Asia and Africa.
1263(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3479899View Description Hide Description
This study addresses students’ intuitive understanding of energy and momentum and their problem solving ability. The subjects of this research were students who had experiences with conservation of energy and momentum. Nine undergraduate students completed event‐based Interviews with three related events which composed of Event I: Simple collisions, Event II: Newton’s cradle and Event III: Gauss gun. Their intuitive understanding was explored through three well‐defined items involving Event I and II. The interviews revealed that most students explained the two events by utilizing their intuitive understanding rather than scientific conceptions. Then problem‐solving thinking was identified through ill‐defined problems involving Event III. From the Gauss gun setting, students were asked to explain how Gauss gun works, how to build the highest power Gauss gun and interpret the graph of mass and distance of steel ball after collisions. Research findings showed that students who have fairly good command of basic knowledge, tended to use of problem solving strategies as expected. For example, a student who understood the perfectly transferring energy and momentum of the equal mass of balls, was able to identify the possible factors for design more effective Gauss gun reasonably. However, most of the students were unable to use suitable vocabulary in providing reasons and explanations for certain problem‐solving procedures. Thus, lacking basic knowledge can impede problem‐solving thinking. It is hope that these findings will serve as a reference for educators in improving the learning and teaching of energy and momentum in general and problem solving instruction in particular.
Effectiveness of Problem Solving Method In Dynamics And Academic Achievement of High School Students1263(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3479900View Description Hide Description
The present research as a per and post tests design with control group investigates the effectiveness of problem solving method as independent variable on academic achievement of students in the second grade of high school in the physics topic of dynamics. The sample consists of four random groups as experimental and control groups which were chosen from the students of the second grade of high school. Each sample consists of 25 participants. The experimental groups were taught in problem solving method without any changing in method for control groups. Data was analyzed using Mixed Analysis Of Variance (MANOVA). Result showed a significant difference between two methods of learning (P<0.05). Further the evaluation of their attitude about problem solving method has been showed that a significant percentage of participants in experimental group were interested to continue that method in other physical topics.