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Students’ Understanding of Density: A Cognitive Linguistics Perspective
written by Philip Southey, Saalih Allie, and Dedra Demaree
Density is an important, multifaceted concept that occurs at many levels of physics education. Previous research has shown that a primary instantiation of the concept, mass density, is not well understood by high school or university students. This study seeks to determine how students understand the broad concept of density, and whether particular aspects of their understanding are helpful in structuring the concept of charge density. Qualitative data were gathered in the form of questionnaires distributed to 172 freshmen comprising three different academic groups. Broad, open ended questions prompted for responses involving free writing and drawn diagrams. The data were analyzed by an approach suggested by Grounded Theory. Using the theoretical lens of Conceptual Metaphor Theory, six underlying (foothold) concepts were identified in terms of which density was conceptualized: 'filled container'; 'packing'; 'weight/heaviness'; 'intensive property'; 'floating/sinking'; 'impenetrability/solidity'. The foothold concept of 'packing' proved to be the most productive for conceptualizing 'charge density'.
Physics Education Research Conference 2012
Part of the PER Conference series
Philadelphia, PA: August 1-2, 2012
Volume 1513, Pages 390-393
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Cognition
- Learning Theory
= Cognitive Modeling
Electricity & Magnetism
- Electrostatics
= Charge
Thermo & Stat Mech
- Thermal Properties of Matter
= Density
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Researchers
- application/pdf
- non-digital
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Mirror:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4789734
Access Rights:
Free access and
Available for purchase
A preprint of the work is available. A hard copy of the PERC 2012 proceedings is available for purchase from the AIP.
Restriction:
© 2012 American Institute of Physics
DOI:
10.1063/1.4789734
PACS:
01.40.Fk
Keywords:
Conceptual Metaphor Theory, Conceptual Metaphor Theory, PERC 2012, analogies, conceptual modeling
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created July 1, 2013 by Zachary Davis
Record Updated:
February 1, 2014 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 24, 2013
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Record Link
AIP Format
P. Southey, S. Allie, and D. Demaree, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2012, Philadelphia, PA, 2012, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12860&DocID=3392).
AJP/PRST-PER
P. Southey, S. Allie, and D. Demaree, Students’ Understanding of Density: A Cognitive Linguistics Perspective, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2012, Philadelphia, PA, 2012, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12860&DocID=3392>.
APA Format
Southey, P., Allie, S., & Demaree, D. (2012, August 1-2). Students’ Understanding of Density: A Cognitive Linguistics Perspective. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2012, Philadelphia, PA. Retrieved December 17, 2017, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12860&DocID=3392
Chicago Format
Southey, P, S. Allie, and D. Demaree. "Students’ Understanding of Density: A Cognitive Linguistics Perspective." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2012, Philadelphia, PA, August 1-2, 2012. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12860&DocID=3392 (accessed 17 December 2017).
MLA Format
Southey, Philip, Saalih Allie, and Dedra Demaree. "Students’ Understanding of Density: A Cognitive Linguistics Perspective." Physics Education Research Conference 2012. Philadelphia, PA: 2012. 390-393 Vol. 1513 of PER Conference. 17 Dec. 2017 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12860&DocID=3392>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Philip Southey and Saalih Allie and Dedra Demaree", Title = {Students’ Understanding of Density: A Cognitive Linguistics Perspective}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2012}, Pages = {390-393}, Address = {Philadelphia, PA}, Series = {PER Conference}, Volume = {1513}, Month = {August 1-2}, Year = {2012} }
Refer Export Format

%A Philip Southey
%A Saalih Allie
%A Dedra Demaree
%T Students' Understanding of Density: A Cognitive Linguistics Perspective
%S PER Conference
%V 1513
%D August 1-2 2012
%P 390-393
%C Philadelphia, PA
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12860&DocID=3392
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2012
%O August 1-2
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Southey, Philip
%A Allie, Saalih
%A Demaree, Dedra
%D August 1-2 2012
%T Students' Understanding of Density: A Cognitive Linguistics Perspective
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2012
%C Philadelphia, PA
%V 1513
%P 390-393
%S PER Conference
%8 August 1-2
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12860&DocID=3392


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