The PER-Central website will be unavailable Friday evening through Saturday afternoon as electrical work occurs in the American Center of Physics server room. Down time will begin at 6PM Eastern Time on Friday. Service is expected to resume by 6PM on Saturday, July 30.

home - login - register

PERC 2010 Abstract Detail Page

Previous Page  |  New Search  |  Browse All

Abstract Title: Helping Students to Think Like Physicists in SDI Labs
Abstract: Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) labs are relatively effective in promoting students' conceptual understanding of Newtonian mechanics, as judged by relatively large (~0.6) average pre-to-postest *normalized* learning gains on the FCI. In addition, SDI Labs are designed to help students *think like physicists*, e.g., to: (1) appreciate the need for operational definitions; (2) use and interpret pictorial, graphical, vectorial, mathematical, and written representations; (3) design experiments and control variables; and (4) consider thought experiments and limiting conditions. Two examples: (A) In a pre-Newton's-Second-Law-lab assignment, students indicate in words and/or sketches *operational definitions* of crucial kinematic terms such as position, displacement, time, and instantaneous acceleration. (B) For the tablecloth-slip-out trick, students derive an expression for the distance moved by a plate in terms of the time required to pull the cloth out from under it, and are then asked "Is the expression physically reasonable? - consider dimensions and limiting conditions."
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Richard Hake
Indiana University Emeritus
24245 Hatteras Street
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Phone: 1-818-992-0632