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Abstract Title: A Conceptual Analysis Approach to Physics Problem Solving
Abstract: Students in introductory physics courses treat problem solving as an exercise in manipulating equations, symbols, and quantities with the goal of obtaining the correct answer. Although this approach is efficient for getting answers, it is far from optimal for learning how conceptual knowledge is applied in the problem solving process. The goal of this study is to refine and evaluate an approach that encourages students to begin by writing a strategic analysis of a problem based on principles and procedures, and then to follow with a documented problem solution that exhibits, side-by-side, how concepts and equations go together in a solution. We will discuss the implementation and effectiveness of this approach in four local high school classrooms.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster

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Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jennifer L. Docktor
Beckman Institute and Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science & Technology
405 North Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: 701-261-8494
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Natalie E. Strand, Beckman Institute and Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Jose P. Mestre, Beckman Institute and Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Brian H. Ross, Beckman Institute and Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign