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Interpretation in Quantum Physics as Hidden Curriculum Documents

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Interpretation in Quantum Physics as Hidden Curriculum 

written by Charles Baily and Noah D. Finkelstein

Prior research has demonstrated how the realist perspectives of classical physics students can translate into specific beliefs about quantum phenomena when taking an introductory modern physics course. Student beliefs regarding the interpretation of quantum mechanics often vary by context, and are most often in alignment with instructional goals in topic areas where instructors are explicit in promoting a particular perspective. Moreover, students are more likely to maintain realist perspectives in topic areas where instructors are less explicit in addressing interpretive themes, thereby making such issues part of a hidden curriculum. We discuss various approaches to addressing student perspectives and interpretive themes in a modern physics course, and explore the associated impacts on student thinking.

Published August 24, 2010
Last Modified October 1, 2010

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