Journal Article Detail Page
written by Thomas J. Bing and Edward F. Redish
Developing expertise in physics entails learning to use mathematics effectively and efficiently as applied to the context of physical situations. Doing so involves coordinating a variety of concepts and skills including mathematical processing, computation, blending ancillary information with the math, and reading out physical implications from the math and vice versa. From videotaped observations of intermediate level students solving problems in groups, we note that students often "get stuck" using a limited group of skills or reasoning and fail to notice that a different set of tools (which they possess and know how to use effectively) could quickly and easily solve their problem. We refer to a student's perception or judgment of the kind of knowledge that is appropriate to bring to bear in a particular situation as epistemological framing. Although epistemological framing is often unstated (and even unconscious), in group problem-solving situations students sometimes get into disagreements about how to progress. During these disagreements, they bring forth reasons or warrants in support of their point of view. For the context of mathematics use in physics problem solving, we present a system for classifying physics students' warrants and analyze a case study. This warrant analysis provides a general widely applicable technique for identifying students' epistemological framings.
Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research: Volume 5, Issue 2, Pages 020108
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