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PERC 2012 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Constructing conceptual meaning from a popular scientific article – The case of E=mc2
Abstract: Although Israeli  high school physics students solve problems using the expression E=mc2, the origin of this expression and its  deep conceptual meaning are hardly ever discussed due to students' limited prior knowledge. In 1946, a year after the atomic bombs were first dropped, Albert Einstein published a popular scientific article explaining the equivalence between mass and energy to the general public and the implications of this principle for our daily lives. This paper describes the utilization of Einstein's article in a high school physics lesson. It discusses the instructional affordances of exemplary popular scientific texts through an analysis of students' learning, in comparison to previous studies on the instruction and learning of the equivalence of mass and energy, and in relation to features of exemplary popular scientific writing reflected in Einstein's article. The research is supported by a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Program.
Abstract Type: Symposium Talk
Targeted Session: Reading of scientific texts as means of exposing students to authentic disciplinary practices

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Shulamit Kapon
School of Education, Tel Aviv University