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The Role of Evaluative Abilities in Physics Learning Documents

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The Role of Evaluative Abilities in Physics Learning 

written by Aaron R. Warren

This paper outlines ongoing research regarding the role evaluative abilities play in student learning. Evaluative abilities refer to a student's capacity for employing several general strategies for checking, critiquing, and judging information. In the context of physics, such information may include proposed problem solutions, proposed models, and conceptual claims. Strategies for evaluating information include dimensional analysis, checking special and limiting cases, and analyzing the assumptions which underlie a model, solution, or claim. Over the past year I have been developing and testing a number of activities designed to promote and assess students' evaluative abilities. I report preliminary results regarding the correlations between students' evaluative abilities and their understanding of physics, and identify future avenues of research.

Published September 1, 2005
Last Modified May 18, 2012

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