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Abstract Title: Student Epistemology About Mathematical Integration In A Physics Context: A Case Study
Abstract: During a sequence of interventions including a tutorial and a teaching interview, a student ("Bryce") showed evidence of understanding all the steps of Riemann-sum style reasoning about why displacement corresponds to the area under a velocity vs. time graph, which in turn corresponds to the integral of velocity over time.  However, he does not view this reasoning as productive for explaining to someone why displacement corresponds to that area under the velocity vs. time curve. We argue that his view stems not primarily from conceptual or mathematical difficulties but from his epistemological stance toward learning integration. Although Bryce tries to mesh physical/conceptual reasoning and other pieces of mathematical formalism (such as simple equations), he views integration as something to be accepted and used.  He therefore frames the Riemann sum reasoning as unneeded logical stepping stones rather than as a deeper explanation linking mathematical formalism to intuitive physical ideas.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Joshua Von Korff
Georgia State University
29 Peachtree Center Avenue N, Science Annex Suite #400
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (404) 413-6009
and Co-Presenter(s)
Andrew Elby, Department of Teaching & Learning, Policy & Leadership, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

Dehui Hu, Department of Physics, Kansas State University, 116 Cardwell Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506-2601

Sanjay Rebello, Department of Physics, Kansas State University, 116 Cardwell Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506-2601

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster