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An Explanatory Model of Physics Faculty Conceptions about the Problem-Solving Process Documents

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An Explanatory Model of Physics Faculty Conceptions about the Problem-Solving Process 

written by H. Vincent Kuo

One commonly stated instructor goal for an introductory calculus-based physics
course is to improve students' problem solving skills. There is, however, a growing body
of research evidence to suggest that this goal is not frequently accomplished in a typical
college or university physics course. In response to this evidence, researchers and
curriculum developers have developed a wide variety of curricular materials and
instructional strategies that have been shown to be more effective in improving student
problem solving performance. In spite of the availability of these curricular materials and
instructional strategies, relatively few physics instructors have chosen to use them. One
likely reason is that these curricular materials and instructional strategies do not align
with, and perhaps are in conflict with, the ways that physics instructors think about the
teaching and learning of problem solving. This has led the Physics Education Research
and Development Group at the University of Minnesota to undertake a long-term, multistage
research program to understand physics instructors' conceptions about the teaching
and learning of problem solving.

Published August 1, 2004
Last Modified June 15, 2006

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