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Evidence of Intuitive and Formal Knowledge in Student Responses: Examples from the Context of Dynamics Documents

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Evidence of Intuitive and Formal Knowledge in Student Responses: Examples from the Context of Dynamics 

written by Mel Sabella and Geraldine L. Cochran

When presented with a question, students activate a set of knowledge, or schema, that they use to respond to the question. For many instructors, one of the goals of the introductory physics course is to help students build robust schemas of formal knowledge that are activated for a given task. In this paper, we present evidence that suggests that even when schemas of formal knowledge are formed, students often struggle to activate this knowledge. We focus on the analysis of interviews with two introductory physics students concerning the topic of dynamics. We also demonstrate that the act of explaining, during the interview, has a profound impact on the students' responses.

Published September 9, 2004
Last Modified July 7, 2013

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