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2003 PERC Proceedings

Conference Information

Dates: August 6-7, 2003
Location: Madison, WI
Theme: The Practice of Analysis as a Window on Theory

Proceedings Information

Editors: Jeffrey Marx, Scott Franklin, and Karen Cummings
Published: September 9, 2004
AIP URL: AIP Conference Proceedings 720
Info: Single book; 208 pages; 8.5 X 11 inches, double column
ISBN: 0-7354-0200-0
ISSN (Print): 0094-243X
ISSN (Online): 1551-7616

The 2003 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings contains peer-reviewed and invited papers based on oral presentations and posters. The papers span topics including: instructional assessment, data analysis, student understanding, and issues of learning.

Readership: The Proceedings applies to all levels of physics instruction, particularly undergraduate instruction.

Table of Contents

Front Matter
Invited Papers (8)
Peer-reviewed Papers (39)
Back Matter

INVITED MANUSCRIPTS (8)

First Author Index

Wittmann · Loverude · Meltzer · Heron · Finkelstein · Rosenberg · Etkina · Dancy

Invited Papers

Understanding Data Analysis from Multiple Viewpoints: An Example from Quantum Tunneling
Michael C. Wittmann and Jeffrey T. Morgan
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 3-6, doi:10.1063/1.1807240
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During individual clinical interviews, the interaction between researcher and interviewee leads to a specific set of data that can later be interpreted from several viewpoints. In this paper, we describe three analyses of a student's reasoning. First, we describe her "physics reasoning" in terms of the physical situation she describes and the "difficulties" she has in reasoning about the interview question. Second, we describe some "reasoning resources" that she uses. Finally, we describe "epistemological resources" that may influence her reasoning about quantum physics. We conclude with a discussion of implications about the practice of interviews and their analysis.

M. C. Wittmann and J. T. Morgan, Understanding Data Analysis from Multiple Viewpoints: An Example from Quantum Tunneling, 2003 PERC Proceedings [Madison, WI, August 6-7, 2003], edited by J. Marx, S. Franklin, and K. Cummings [AIP Conf. Proc. 720, 3-6 (2004)], doi:10.1063/1.1807240.

Measuring the effectiveness of research-based curriculum at a university serving a diverse student population
Michael E. Loverude
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 7-10, doi:10.1063/1.1807241
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California State University Fullerton is a regional comprehensive university that serves a diverse student population. Over half of the undergraduate students at CSUF are members of minority groups, and just under half spoke a language other than English at home while growing up. We have tested research-based curricular materials, including in courses at CSUF. In some cases, these materials are successful. However, in many cases student outcomes are significantly different from those reported at large research universities. Informally, many faculty believe that the student population at CSUF is significantly different from those at more selective universities. In what ways can the tools of PER be used to measure, describe, and understand the differences between student populations? Are the standard methods of PER suitable for answering questions of this type?

M. E. Loverude, Measuring the effectiveness of research-based curriculum at a university serving a diverse student population, 2003 PERC Proceedings [Madison, WI, August 6-7, 2003], edited by J. Marx, S. Franklin, and K. Cummings [AIP Conf. Proc. 720, 7-10 (2004)], doi:10.1063/1.1807241.

The Questions We Ask and Why: Methodological Orientation in Physics Education Research
David E. Meltzer
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 11-14, doi:10.1063/1.1807242
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Research methodology is discussed using a simple model of students' knowledge. I argue that the nature of data obtained is closely linked to the type of knowledge being probed.

D. E. Meltzer, The Questions We Ask and Why: Methodological Orientation in Physics Education Research, 2003 PERC Proceedings [Madison, WI, August 6-7, 2003], edited by J. Marx, S. Franklin, and K. Cummings [AIP Conf. Proc. 720, 11-14 (2004)], doi:10.1063/1.1807242.

Empirical Investigations of Student Understanding
Paula R. L. Heron
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 15-18, doi:10.1063/1.1807243
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Why study student understanding of physics? For some of us, "because it's there" is a large part of the reason. However, many of us are also strongly committed to using our findings to improve teaching at the classroom level. One type of investigation that has proven fruitful as a guide for improving student learning is discussed in the article. The underlying goals and assumptions are discussed in general terms. A specific example provides a context for discussing the interpretation of student thinking.

P. R. L. Heron, Empirical Investigations of Student Understanding, 2003 PERC Proceedings [Madison, WI, August 6-7, 2003], edited by J. Marx, S. Franklin, and K. Cummings [AIP Conf. Proc. 720, 15-18 (2004)], doi:10.1063/1.1807243.

Bridging Critical Points: discontinuities in high school and university physics education
Noah D. Finkelstein
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 19-22, doi:10.1063/1.1807244
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The paper examines data collected from teaching an introductory college physics class offered at a public high school. Assessment of student achievement demonstrates that students are able to perform at a college level. Nonetheless this achievement is not recognized by the institutions supporting this experimental course. Analysis of detailed daily notes begins to answer why and how students are marginalized in this educational system. Particularly, three themes of structural, normative and epistemological discontinuity detail why these students or institutions fail.

N. D. Finkelstein, Bridging Critical Points: discontinuities in high school and university physics education, 2003 PERC Proceedings [Madison, WI, August 6-7, 2003], edited by J. Marx, S. Franklin, and K. Cummings [AIP Conf. Proc. 720, 19-22 (2004)], doi:10.1063/1.1807244.

Questioning Assumptions about the Role of Education in American Society: A Review of Schooling in Capitalist America
Seth Rosenberg
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 23-26, doi:10.1063/1.1807245
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According to many scholars, classrooms in America are overwhelmingly authoritarian and undemocratic. They focus on fragmented knowledge that is disconnected from the students' lives. Proven reforms are resisted at all levels, and systematic progressive change is non-existent nearly a century after the progressive movement. Why is this so? The standard liberal outlook is that the schools are `broken' and `neglected', but that they have the potential, with reform, to be a major progressive force in society. This paper questions these assumptions through a review of the seminal educational-economic work by Bowles and Gintis: Schooling in Capitalist America. The major claim of this text is that our educational system's primary role is to mirror, support, stabilize, and reproduce the fundamentally hierarchical and undemocratic social relationships that exist in the majority of American workplaces. The major arguments and evidence of this text are reviewed, and implications for PER will be briefly mentioned.

S. Rosenberg, Questioning Assumptions about the Role of Education in American Society: A Review of Schooling in Capitalist America, 2003 PERC Proceedings [Madison, WI, August 6-7, 2003], edited by J. Marx, S. Franklin, and K. Cummings [AIP Conf. Proc. 720, 23-26 (2004)], doi:10.1063/1.1807245.

What did I learn and why do I believe in it?
Eugenia Etkina and Ari Eisner
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 27-30, doi:10.1063/1.1807246
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The paper describes a study of students' reflections on their learning in the Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE). ISLE was implemented in two freshmen introductory physics courses for engineering students at risk. Weekly Reports — structured journals — were a part of their homework assignments. We found that a thorough reflection on their reasoning based on experimental evidence had a positive effect on student performance. However a surprising finding was that learning from authority was beneficial as well. This result is in contradiction to a similar study conducted by May and Etkina in 2001 in a freshmen course for honors engineering students. The current study therefore suggests that instructors should encourage different ways of knowledge construction when dealing with different student populations.

E. Etkina and A. Eisner, What did I learn and why do I believe in it?, 2003 PERC Proceedings [Madison, WI, August 6-7, 2003], edited by J. Marx, S. Franklin, and K. Cummings [AIP Conf. Proc. 720, 27-30 (2004)], doi:10.1063/1.1807246.

The Myth of Gender Neutrality
Melissa H. Dancy
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 31-36, doi:10.1063/1.1807247
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It is well known that women are underrepresented in physics. The prevailing view is that there is a "leaky pipeline" of female physicists which has lead to a focus on providing mentors and increasing the opportunity for girls to experience science. The assumption is that the numbers of women in physics can be increased by integrating women into the existing structure. Although it may seem reasonable, women are making only small gains in participation levels. In this paper, I explore the idea that there is no leaky pipeline. Rather, the environment is fundamentally "male" and women will never be equally represented until fundamental changes are made in both our educational system and in the cultural assumptions of our physics community.

M. H. Dancy, The Myth of Gender Neutrality, 2003 PERC Proceedings [Madison, WI, August 6-7, 2003], edited by J. Marx, S. Franklin, and K. Cummings [AIP Conf. Proc. 720, 31-36 (2004)], doi:10.1063/1.1807247.

PEER REVIEWED MANUSCRIPTS (39)

First Author Index

McCaskey · Sharma · Blue · Sommer · Davis · Thaden-Koch · Scherr · Menchen · Marx · Lindell · Savinainen · Itza-Ortiz · De Leone · Sabella · Sandifer · Morgan · Sayre · Zou · Warnakulasooriya · Tumaniro · Bocaneala · Engelhardt · Gray · Harper · Cummings · Shaw · Otero · Harlow · May · Yerushalmi · Engelhardt · Koenig · Henderson · Sadaghiani · Fencl · Singh · Reay · Rebello · Hrepic

Peer-reviewed Papers

Effects on assessment caused by splits between belief and understanding
Timothy L. McCaskey, Melissa H. Dancy, and Andrew Elby
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 37-40, doi:10.1063/1.1807248
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On the Use of Phenomenography in the Analysis of Qualitative Data
Manjula Devi Sharma, Chris Stewart, and Michael Prosser
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 41-44, doi:10.1063/1.1807249
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Using Matched Samples to Look for Sex Differences
Jennifer Blue and Patricia Heller
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 45-48, doi:10.1063/1.1807250
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Accounting for Errors in Model Analysis Theory: A Numerical Approach
Steven Sommer and Rebecca S. Lindell
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 49-52, doi:10.1063/1.1807251
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Assessing the Impact of Student Learning Style Preferences
Stacey Davis and Scott V. Franklin
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 53-56, doi:10.1063/1.1807252
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A coordination class analysis of judgments about animated motion
Thomas C. Thaden-Koch, Robert J. Dufresne, William J. Gerace, Jose P. Mestre, and William J. Leonard
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 57-60, doi:10.1063/1.1807253
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Gestures as evidence of student thinking about physics
Rachel E. Scherr
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 61-64, doi:10.1063/1.1807254
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Pre-service teacher understanding of propagation and resonance in sound phenomena
Katherine Menchen and John R. Thompson
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 65-68, doi:10.1063/1.1807255
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Students' Impressions Concerning Optical Telescopes and Visible Astronomical Light
Jeffrey Marx and Rebecca S. Lindell
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 69-72, doi:10.1063/1.1807256
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Using the Lunar Phases Concept Inventory to Investigate College students' Pre-instructional Mental Models of Lunar Phases
Rebecca S. Lindell and Steven Sommer
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 73-76, doi:10.1063/1.1807257
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A Case Study Evaluating Students' Representational Coherence of Newton's First and Second Laws
Antti Savinainen and Jouni Viiri
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 77-80, doi:10.1063/1.1807258
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Energy Mental Models: Mechanics through Electromagnetism
Salomon F. Itza-Ortiz, Benjamin Lawrence, and Dean A. Zollman
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 81-84, doi:10.1063/1.1807259
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Toward Understanding Student Conceptions of the Photoelectric Effect
Charles De Leone and Graham Oberem
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 85-88, doi:10.1063/1.1807260
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Evidence of Intuitive and Formal Knowledge in Student Responses: Examples from the Context of Dynamics
Mel Sabella and Geraldine L. Cochran
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 89-92, doi:10.1063/1.1807261
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Spontaneous Student-Generated Analogies
Cody Sandifer
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 93-96, doi:10.1063/1.1807262
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Student Understanding of Tunneling in Quantum Mechanics: Examining Interview and Survey Results for Clues to Student Reasoning
Jeffrey T. Morgan, Michael C. Wittmann, and John R. Thompson
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 97-100, doi:10.1063/1.1807263
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Resource Selection in Nearly-Novel Situations
Eleanor C. Sayre, Michael C. Wittmann, and John R. Thompson
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 101-104, doi:10.1063/1.1807264
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How students justify their knowledge in the Investigative Science Learning Environment
Xueli Zou
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 105-108, doi:10.1063/1.1807265
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Students' reasoning across contexts
Rasil Warnakulasooriya and Lei Bao
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 109-112, doi:10.1063/1.1807266
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Understanding Students' Poor Performance on Mathematical Problem Solving in Physics
Jonathan Tumaniro and Edward F. Redish
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 113-116, doi:10.1063/1.1807267
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A computational model for physics learning
Florin Bocaneala and Lei Bao
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 117-120, doi:10.1063/1.1807268
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A framework for student reasoning in an interview
Paula V. Engelhardt, Kara E. Gray, Zdeslav Hrepic, Salomon F. Itza-Ortiz, Alicia R. Allbaugh, N. Sanjay Rebello, and Dean A. Zollman
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 121-124, doi:10.1063/1.1807269
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Implications of a framework for student reasoning in an interview
Kara E. Gray, Zdeslav Hrepic, Salomon F. Itza-Ortiz, Alicia R. Allbaugh, Paula V. Engelhardt, N. Sanjay Rebello, and Dean A. Zollman
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 125-128, doi:10.1063/1.1807270
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Expert-Novice Comparisons to Illuminate Differences in Perceptions of Problem Solutions
Kathleen A. Harper
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 129-132, doi:10.1063/1.1807271
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Attitudes Toward Problem Solving as Predictors of Student Success
Karen Cummings, Stephanie Lockwood, and Jeffrey Marx
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 133-136, doi:10.1063/1.1807272
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The Development of a Physics Self-Efficacy Instrument for Use in the Introductory Classroom
Kimberly A. Shaw
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 137-140, doi:10.1063/1.1807273
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"After I gave students their prior knowledge" Pre-service teachers' conceptions of student prior knowledge
Valerie K. Otero and Mitchell Nathan
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 141-144, doi:10.1063/1.1807274
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An Examination of Children's Scientific Argumentation
Danielle Harlow and Valerie K. Otero
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 145-148, doi:10.1063/1.1807275
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Elements of expertise in the use of analogies in a 3rd-grade science discussion
David May and David Hammer
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 149-152, doi:10.1063/1.1807276
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Assessing Reflection on Practice: A Problem Solving Perspective
Edit Yerushalmi and Bat-Sheva Eylon
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 153-156, doi:10.1063/1.1807277
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The Teaching Experiment — What it is and what it isn't
Paula V. Engelhardt, N. Sanjay Rebello, Darryl J. Ozimek, and Edgar D. Corpuz
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 157-160, doi:10.1063/1.1807278
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Study of TA's ability to implement the Tutorials in Introductory Physics and student conceptual understanding
Kathleen M. Koenig and Robert J. Endorf
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 161-164, doi:10.1063/1.1807279
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Easier Said Than Done: A Case Study of Instructional Change Under the Best of Circumstances
Charles R. Henderson
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 165-168, doi:10.1063/1.1807280
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Lecture Demonstrations in Modern Physics: Quality vs. Quantity
Homeyra R. Sadaghiani and Lei Bao
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 169-172, doi:10.1063/1.1807281
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Pedagogical approaches, contextual variables, and the development of student self-efficacy in undergraduate physics courses
Heidi S. Fencl and Karen R. Scheel
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 173-176, doi:10.1063/1.1807282
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Interactive video tutorials for enhancing problem-solving, reasoning, and meta-cognitive skills of introductory physics students
Chandralekha Singh
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 177-180, doi:10.1063/1.1807283
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"Business-Style" Group Work in a Freshman Engineering Honors Class
Neville W. Reay, Lei Bao, Gordon Baugh, and Rasil Warnakulasooriya
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 181-184, doi:10.1063/1.1807284
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Student goals and expectations in a large-enrollment physical science class
N. Sanjay Rebello
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 185-188, doi:10.1063/1.1807285
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Students' understanding and perceptions of the content of a lecture
Zdeslav Hrepic, Dean A. Zollman, and N. Sanjay Rebello
AIP Conf. Proc. 720, pp. 189-192, doi:10.1063/1.1807286
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