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PERC 2011 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Reinventing Time and Spacetime
Abstract: Research on learning and problem solving in upper-division physics courses reveals a significant gap between the levels of problem solving sophistication and of abstraction developed by students in traditional lower-division courses and those presumed by traditional upper-division instruction. The sophomore modern physics course focused on relativity, quantum mechanics and their applications is an ideal middle-division setting in which to help students bridge this gap. This paper is a preliminary report on a design research project to produce a modern physics curriculum that accomplishes this. Our approach tests and refines instructional design theory along with the new curriculum. The theory is grounded in cognitive science and mathematics education research on transfer and on abstraction that illuminates resource theory. The new modern physics curriculum is inspired by the Matter & Interactions introductory physics curriculum and explicitly exploits cognitive resources developed by students who have studied it.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Mark P. Haugan
Purdue University
Department of Physics
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Phone: 765 494 5504