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written by Homeyra R. Sadaghiani and Nicholas Aguilera
This research involved high school physics students and how they learn to understand Newton's laws as they relate to falling bodies and projectile motion. Students in introductory, algebra-based, high school physics classes were evaluated based on their prior knowledge through a pretest, designed to assess their initial comprehension of the motion of falling bodies and projectiles. Groups were divided and taught separately with an emphasis on either mathematical derivation of equations, followed by brief conceptual discussions, or on thorough conceptual analysis, followed by a brief mathematical verification. After a post-test was given, an evaluation of the responses and explanations of each group of students was used to determine which method of instruction was more effective. Results indicate that after the conceptual group and math groups achieved similar scores on the pretest, the conceptual group obtained a slightly higher normalized gain of 25% on the post-test, compared to the mathematical group's normalized gain of 16% (unpaired two-tailed t-test P value for post-test results was 0.1037) and, while within standard deviations, also achieved higher overall scores on all post-test questions and higher normalized gains on all but one post-test question. Further, most students, even those in the mathematically-instructed group, were more inclined to give conceptually-based responses on post-test questions than mathematically-based ones. In the context of this topic, the dominating difficulty for both groups was in analyzing two-dimensional projectile motion and, more specifically, the behavior of each one-dimensional component of such motion.
Physics Education Research Conference 2012
Part of the PER Conference series
Philadelphia, PA: August 1-2, 2012
Volume 1513, Pages 358-361
Subjects ADS Supplements Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Motion in One Dimension
= Gravitational Acceleration
- Motion in Two Dimensions
= Projectile Motion
Education - Applied Research
- Pedagogy
= Instructional Issues
Education - Basic Research
- Learning Theory
= Transfer
- Reference Material
= Research study
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application/pdf
non-digital
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Available for purchase
A preprint of the work is available. A hard copy of the PERC 2012 proceedings is available for purchase from the AIP.
Restriction:
© 2012 American Institute of Physics
DOI:
10.1063/1.4789726
PACSs:
01.40.ek
01.40.Fk
01.40.gb
Keywords:
Learning progression, PERC 2012, conceptual understanding, mathematical derivations
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created July 1, 2013 by Zachary Davis
Record Updated:
December 17, 2013 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 24, 2013
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Record Link
AIP Format
H. Sadaghiani and N. Aguilera, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2012, Philadelphia, PA, 2012, WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12852&DocID=3384).
AJP/PRST-PER
H. Sadaghiani and N. Aguilera, Mathematical vs. Conceptual Understanding: Where Do We Draw The Line? presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2012, Philadelphia, PA, 2012, <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12852&DocID=3384>.
APA Format
Sadaghiani, H., & Aguilera, N. (2012, August 1-2). Mathematical vs. Conceptual Understanding: Where Do We Draw The Line?. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2012, Philadelphia, PA. Retrieved July 26, 2014, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12852&DocID=3384
Chicago Format
Sadaghiani, Homeyra, and Nicholas Aguilera. "Mathematical vs. Conceptual Understanding: Where Do We Draw The Line?." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2012, Philadelphia, PA, August 1-2, 2012. http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12852&DocID=3384 (accessed 26 July 2014).
MLA Format
Sadaghiani, Homeyra, and Nicholas Aguilera. "Mathematical vs. Conceptual Understanding: Where Do We Draw The Line?." Physics Education Research Conference 2012. Philadelphia, PA: 2012. 358-361 Vol. 1513 of PER Conference. 26 July 2014 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12852&DocID=3384>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Homeyra Sadaghiani and Nicholas Aguilera", Title = {Mathematical vs. Conceptual Understanding: Where Do We Draw The Line?}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2012}, Pages = {358-361}, Address = {Philadelphia, PA}, Series = {PER Conference}, Volume = {1513}, Month = {August 1-2}, Year = {2012} }
Refer Export Format

%A Homeyra Sadaghiani
%A Nicholas Aguilera
%T Mathematical vs. Conceptual Understanding: Where Do We Draw The Line?
%S PER Conference
%V 1513
%D August 1-2 2012
%P 358-361
%C Philadelphia, PA
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12852&DocID=3384
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2012
%O August 1-2
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Sadaghiani, Homeyra
%A Aguilera, Nicholas
%D August 1-2 2012
%T Mathematical vs. Conceptual Understanding: Where Do We Draw The Line?
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2012
%C Philadelphia, PA
%V 1513
%P 358-361
%S PER Conference
%8 August 1-2
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12852&DocID=3384


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Mathematical vs. Conceptual Understanding: Where Do We Draw The Line?:


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