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Understanding Students' Poor Performance on Mathematical Problem Solving in Physics Documents

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Understanding Students' Poor Performance on Mathematical Problem Solving in Physics 

written by Jonathan Tumaniro and Edward F. Redish

This article helps explain why many introductory, algebra-based physics students perform poorly on mathematical problem solving tasks in physics. Many physics faculty assume that the lack of mathematical skills is the causing this problem. However, this research presents evidence suggesting that the major source of the students' errors is their failure to apply the mathematical knowledge they have or to interpret that knowledge in a physical context. Additionally, the authors provide an instructional strategy that can help students employ the mathematical knowledge they already possess.

Published September 9, 2004
Last Modified May 11, 2012

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