Do Our Words Really Matter? Case Studies from Quantum Mechanics Documents
David T. Brookes and
To understand the role of language in learning physics, we will treat it as one possible representation of a physical model. We will then present a theoretical framework that enables us to identify physical models encoded in language. We will present data showing that physicists use linguistic representations to reason productively about physical systems and problems. We will also present a case study and supporting evidence to argue that these linguistic representations are being used and applied by physics students when they reason. Sometimes students misapply and overextend these linguistic representations. This study allows us to understand and account for some student difficulties.
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Published February 14, 2006
Last Modified May 18, 2012
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