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Student Views of Similarity between Math and Physics Problems Documents

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Student Views of Similarity between Math and Physics Problems 

written by Dyan L. McBride

It is commonly known that students have difficulty connecting the techniques they learn in math classes with necessary steps for solving physics problems. In this study, introductory-level physics students were given a set of pure math problems and a set of physics problems that required them to use the exact same mathematical processes. The students were then asked to pair the analogous problems and explain the pairings. Presented here are the results of that study, which support previous findings that students have difficulty determining how the two are connected and give some insight into what can be done to help scaffold that connection in the future.

Published February 6, 2012
Last Modified February 6, 2012

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