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The Impact of the History of Physics on Student Attitude and Conceptual Understanding of Physics Documents

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The Impact of the History of Physics on Student Attitude and Conceptual Understanding of Physics 

written by Sarah Garcia, April Hankins, and Homeyra R. Sadaghiani

The purpose of this study is to investigate student learning of Newtonian Mechanics through the study of its history and the development of the relevant ideas since the time of ancient Greece. The hypothesis is that not only will students learn the basic concepts of mechanics, but also will develop a more positive attitude and appreciation for physics. To assess the students' conceptual understanding, we administer Force Concept Inventory (FCI) and for the measurement of student attitude change, we employed the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS); both were given as pre and post-tests. Additionally, at the end of the quarter, a survey was given out to see how students perceived the different course components and which ones they found helpful in their learning. This paper will present our preliminary results on such a study.

Published August 24, 2010
Last Modified October 19, 2010

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