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American Journal of Physics
written by Beth Ann Thacker, Donald Boys, and Uri Ganiel
Studies of student understanding of simple electric dc circuits have shown that many of them find it very difficult to apply qualitative reasoning to explain the observed phenomena. It has been suggested that these difficulties may be due to their failure to construct models of microscopic processes that lead to these phenomena. Indeed, in the traditional courses, such models have generally not been emphasized. In the present study, we compared the performance of different groups of university students in answering a questionnaire designed to probe their understanding of the relationship between macroscopic phenomena of transients in a dc circuit and the microscopic processes that can explain these phenomena. One group studied from a traditional text, the second group used a recently developed text that emphasizes models of microscopic processes. We also conducted detailed interviews with some of the students. From an analysis of the performance of these two groups, and also from a comparison with a previous study on Israeli high school students, we found that most of the students whose instructional experiences included an emphasis on the development of models of microscopic processes developed a better understanding of the transient phenomena studied. They applied qualitative considerations in their analyses and were able to develop coherent models to describe their observations. Overall, they demonstrated a superior understanding of the physical phenomena.
American Journal of Physics: Volume 67, Issue S1, Pages S25-S31
Subjects ADS Supplements Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Active Learning
= Modeling
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
- Instructional Material
= Instructor Guide/Manual
- Reference Material
= Research study
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© 1999 American Journal of Physics
Additional information is available.
DOI:
10.1119/1.19076
PII:
S0002-9505(99)50207-9
Keywords:
networks (circuits), teaching, transients
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created July 14, 2005 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
October 14, 2008 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
July 1, 1999
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
B. Thacker, D. Boys, and U. Ganiel, Am. J. Phys. 67 (S1), S25 (1999), WWW Document, (http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.19076).
AJP/PRST-PER
B. Thacker, D. Boys, and U. Ganiel, Macroscopic phenomena and microscopic processes: Student understanding of transients in direct current electric circuits Am. J. Phys. 67 (S1), S25 (1999), <http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.19076>.
APA Format
Thacker, B., Boys, D., & Ganiel, U. (1999, July 1). Macroscopic phenomena and microscopic processes: Student understanding of transients in direct current electric circuits. Am. J. Phys., 67(S1), S25-S31. Retrieved August 22, 2014, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.19076
Chicago Format
Thacker, B, D. Boys, and U. Ganiel. "Macroscopic phenomena and microscopic processes: Student understanding of transients in direct current electric circuits." Am. J. Phys. 67, no. S1, (July 1, 1999): S25-S31, http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.19076 (accessed 22 August 2014).
MLA Format
Thacker, Beth Ann, Donald Boys, and Uri Ganiel. "Macroscopic phenomena and microscopic processes: Student understanding of transients in direct current electric circuits." Am. J. Phys. 67.S1 (1999): S25-S31. 22 Aug. 2014 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.19076>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Beth Ann Thacker and Donald Boys and Uri Ganiel", Title = {Macroscopic phenomena and microscopic processes: Student understanding of transients in direct current electric circuits}, Journal = {Am. J. Phys.}, Volume = {67}, Number = {S1}, Pages = {S25-S31}, Month = {July}, Year = {1999} }
Refer Export Format

%A Beth Ann Thacker
%A Donald Boys
%A Uri Ganiel
%T Macroscopic phenomena and microscopic processes: Student understanding of transients in direct current electric circuits
%J Am. J. Phys.
%V 67
%N S1
%D July 1, 1999
%P S25-S31
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.19076
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Thacker, Beth Ann
%A Boys, Donald
%A Ganiel, Uri
%D July 1, 1999
%T Macroscopic phenomena and microscopic processes: Student understanding of transients in direct current electric circuits
%J Am. J. Phys.
%V 67
%N S1
%P S25-S31
%8 July 1, 1999
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.19076


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