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Abstract Title: Core graduate physics courses: A missed learning opportunity?
Abstract: An important goal of graduate physics core courses is to help students develop expertise in problem solving and improve their reasoning and metacognitive skills. We explore the conceptual difficulties of physics graduate students by administering conceptual problems on topics covered in the upper-level undergraduate physics courses before and after instruction in related first year core graduate courses. Here, we focus on physics graduate students' difficulties manifested by their performance on qualitative problems involving different representations of knowledge. We compare their performance with that of upper-level undergraduates. We also conduct individual discussions with various faculty members who regularly teach first year graduate physics core courses about the goals of the graduate core courses and the performance of graduate students on the conceptual problems after related instruction in core courses. We will present the findings.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Chandralekha Singh
University of Pittsburgh
3941 Ohara St.
100 Allen Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: 4126249045
Fax: 4126249163
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Alex Maries