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American Journal of Physics
written by Rachel E. Scherr
Our understanding of the nature of student ideas informs our instructional and research agendas. In this paper, I characterize student ideas in terms of five observable properties (determinacy, coherence, context-dependence, variability, and malleability) and describe how those observable properties correspond to the "misconceptions" and "pieces" models of student reasoning. I then analyze instructional materials and student thinking in a particular topic area (special relativity) in terms of each of those two models. I show that specific instructional strategies reflect specific theoretical orientations, and explore the extent to which observed student behavior corresponds to predictions made by the theoretical models. The analysis suggests that while both the misconceptions and pieces models are flexible enough to accommodate all of the data, some aspects of student thinking seem best described in terms of pieces, and others seem better characterized as misconceptions. The purpose of the analysis is to illustrate the effect of theoretical orientation on instruction, instructional research, and curriculum development.
American Journal of Physics: Volume 75, Issue 3, Pages 272-280
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Cognition
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
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application/pdf
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© 2007 American Association of Physics Teachers
DOI:
10.1119/1.2410013
Keywords:
Coherence, Context-dependence, Determinacy, Malleability, Modeling Student Thinking, Variability
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created June 25, 2007 by Shawn Weatherford
Record Updated:
August 22, 2009 by Gregory Comer
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Record Link
AIP Format
R. Scherr, Am. J. Phys. 75 (3), 272 (2007), WWW Document, (http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.2410013).
AJP/PRST-PER
R. Scherr, Modeling student thinking: An example from special relativity., Am. J. Phys. 75 (3), 272 (2007), <http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.2410013>.
APA Format
Scherr, R. (2007). Modeling student thinking: An example from special relativity.. Am. J. Phys., 75(3), 272-280. Retrieved October 20, 2014, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.2410013
Chicago Format
Scherr, Rachel. "Modeling student thinking: An example from special relativity.." Am. J. Phys. 75, no. 3, (2007): 272-280, http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.2410013 (accessed 20 October 2014).
MLA Format
Scherr, Rachel. "Modeling student thinking: An example from special relativity.." Am. J. Phys. 75.3 (2007): 272-280. 20 Oct. 2014 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.2410013>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Rachel Scherr", Title = {Modeling student thinking: An example from special relativity.}, Journal = {Am. J. Phys.}, Volume = {75}, Number = {3}, Pages = {272-280}, Year = {2007} }
Refer Export Format

%A Rachel Scherr
%T Modeling student thinking: An example from special relativity.
%J Am. J. Phys.
%V 75
%N 3
%D 2007
%P 272-280
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.2410013
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Scherr, Rachel
%D 2007
%T Modeling student thinking: An example from special relativity.
%J Am. J. Phys.
%V 75
%N 3
%P 272-280
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.2410013


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