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Applying Knowledge in New Contexts: A Comparison of Pre- and Post-Instruction Students Documents

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Applying Knowledge in New Contexts: A Comparison of Pre- and Post-Instruction Students 

written by Dyan L. McBride and Dean A. Zollman

This study focuses on how students apply previous learning of light and basic geometric optics to the context of wavefront aberrometry. In one aspect of this study we compared the application of previous learning of students who had studied light and basic geometric optics in a physics course with those who had not and thus could only apply knowledge obtained in an informal way. We sought to examine what differences exist in the way they construct an understanding of wavefront aberrometry. The data showed that students with no formal instruction tended to rely on experiential knowledge as one would expect. However, the students with formal instruction relied on textbook knowledge and tended to discount or ignore their everyday experiences. We will discuss what this difference in knowledge types might imply about the knowledge construction process.

Published November 11, 2009
Last Modified October 8, 2009

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