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Tangible Metaphors
written by Corinne A. Manogue, Elizabeth Gire, and David J. Roundy
Upper-division physics requires students to use abstract mathematical objects to model measurable properties of physical entities. We have developed activities that engage students in using their own bodies or simple home-built apparatus as metaphors for novel (to the students) types of mathematical objects. These tangible metaphors are chosen to be rich, robust, and flexible so that students can explore several properties of the mathematical objects over an extended period of time. The collaborative nature of the activities and inherent silliness of "dancing" out the behavior of currents or spin ½ states certainly increases the fun in the classroom and may also decrease students' fear of learning about these mathematical objects. We include examples from the electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, and thermodynamics content in the Paradigms in Physics program at Oregon State University.
Physics Education Research Conference 2013
Part of the PER Conference Invited Paper series
Portland, OR: July 17-18, 2013
Pages 27-30
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Active Learning
- Pedagogy
= Analogies
Education - Basic Research
- Cognition
= Cognition Development
- Learning Theory
= Representations
- Problem Solving
= Representational Use
Electricity & Magnetism
- Electrostatics
= Charge
Mathematical Tools
- Complex Variables
Quantum Physics
- Spin and Finite Dimensional Systems
Thermo & Stat Mech
- First Law
- Upper Undergraduate
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Article
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Free access
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the published article's author(s), title, proceedings citation, and DOI.
Rights Holder:
American Association of Physics Teachers
NSF Number:
01.40.Fk, 01.40.gb, 41.20 .CV, 41.20.Gz, 03.65.-w, 05.70.-a
PERC 2013, Upper-division physics, conceptual blend, embodied cognition, kinesthetic activity, material anchor
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created December 19, 2013 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
January 5, 2014 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 16, 2013
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Record Link
AIP Format
C. Manogue, E. Gire, and D. Roundy, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2013, Portland, OR, 2013, WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13088&DocID=3623).
C. Manogue, E. Gire, and D. Roundy, Tangible Metaphors, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2013, Portland, OR, 2013, <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13088&DocID=3623>.
APA Format
Manogue, C., Gire, E., & Roundy, D. (2013, July 17-18). Tangible Metaphors. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2013, Portland, OR. Retrieved May 25, 2017, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13088&DocID=3623
Chicago Format
Manogue, C, E. Gire, and D. Roundy. "Tangible Metaphors." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2013, Portland, OR, July 17-18, 2013. http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13088&DocID=3623 (accessed 25 May 2017).
MLA Format
Manogue, Corinne, Elizabeth Gire, and David Roundy. "Tangible Metaphors." Physics Education Research Conference 2013. Portland, OR: 2013. 27-30 of PER Conference Invited Paper. 25 May 2017 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13088&DocID=3623>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Corinne Manogue and Elizabeth Gire and David Roundy", Title = {Tangible Metaphors}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2013}, Pages = {27-30}, Address = {Portland, OR}, Series = {PER Conference Invited Paper}, Month = {July 17-18}, Year = {2013} }
Refer Export Format

%A Corinne Manogue
%A Elizabeth Gire
%A David Roundy
%T Tangible Metaphors
%S PER Conference Invited Paper
%D July 17-18 2013
%P 27-30
%C Portland, OR
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13088&DocID=3623
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2013
%O July 17-18
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Manogue, Corinne
%A Gire, Elizabeth
%A Roundy, David
%D July 17-18 2013
%T Tangible Metaphors
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2013
%C Portland, OR
%P 27-30
%S PER Conference Invited Paper
%8 July 17-18
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13088&DocID=3623

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