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Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research
written by Jonathan Tuminaro and Edward F. Redish
Although much is known about the differences between expert and novice problem solvers, knowledge of those differences typically does not provide enough detail to help instructors understand why some students seem to learn physics while solving problems and others do not. A critical issue is how students access the knowledge they have in the context of solving a particular problem. In this paper, we discuss our observations of students solving physics problems in authentic situations in an algebra-based physics class at the University of Maryland. We find that when these students are working together and interacting effectively, they often use a limited set of locally coherent resources for blocks of time of a few minutes or more. This coherence appears to provide the student with guidance as to what knowledge and procedures to access and what to ignore. Often, this leads to the students failing to apply relevant knowledge they later show they possess. In this paper, we outline a theoretical phenomenology for describing these local coherences and identify six organizational structures that we refer to as epistemic games. The hypothesis that students tend to function within the narrow confines of a fairly limited set of games provides a good description of our observations. We demonstrate how students use these games in two case studies and discuss the implications for instruction.
Subjects ADS Supplements Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Cognition
= Cognition Development
- Problem Solving
- Reference Material
= Research study
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© 2007 The American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.3.020101
NSF Numbers:
0087519
0440133
0524987
PACSs:
01.40.Fk
01.40.Ha
Keywords:
authentic problem solving, cognitive model, epistemic games
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created July 4, 2008 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
July 14, 2013 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
July 6, 2007
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Record Link
AIP Format
J. Tuminaro and E. Redish, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 3 (2), 020101 (2007), WWW Document, (http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.3.020101).
AJP/PRST-PER
J. Tuminaro and E. Redish, Elements of a cognitive model of physics problem solving: Epistemic games Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 3 (2), 020101 (2007), <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.3.020101>.
APA Format
Tuminaro, J., & Redish, E. (2007, July 6). Elements of a cognitive model of physics problem solving: Epistemic games. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., 3(2), 020101. Retrieved April 19, 2014, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.3.020101
Chicago Format
Tuminaro, Jonathan, and Edward F. Redish. "Elements of a cognitive model of physics problem solving: Epistemic games." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 3, no. 2, (July 6, 2007): 020101, http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.3.020101 (accessed 19 April 2014).
MLA Format
Tuminaro, Jonathan, and Edward F. Redish. "Elements of a cognitive model of physics problem solving: Epistemic games." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 3.2 (2007): 020101. 19 Apr. 2014 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.3.020101>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Jonathan Tuminaro and Edward F. Redish", Title = {Elements of a cognitive model of physics problem solving: Epistemic games}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {3}, Number = {2}, Pages = {020101}, Month = {July}, Year = {2007} }
Refer Export Format

%A Jonathan Tuminaro
%A Edward F. Redish
%T Elements of a cognitive model of physics problem solving: Epistemic games
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 3
%N 2
%D July 6, 2007
%P 020101
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.3.020101
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Tuminaro, Jonathan
%A Redish, Edward F.
%D July 6, 2007
%T Elements of a cognitive model of physics problem solving: Epistemic games
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 3
%N 2
%P 020101
%8 July 6, 2007
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.3.020101


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