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Teachers' explanations of student difficulties with gravitational potential energy
written by Michael C. Wittmann, Carolina Alvarado, and Laura A. Millay
In a teacher professional development meeting, teachers were asked a question about potential energy and then to discuss why students might give a particular response to it. Working together in a large group, they came up with responses and explanations that touched on multiple ways of thinking about energy and how these might affect student responses. We observed that teachers were aware of common metaphors for thinking about energy (like energy-as-a-substance) and that they gave multiple explanations for how students might have difficulties in applying these metaphors (e.g., energy is "used up" because of travel time, travel distance, or the effort exerted during travel). Additional explanations showed that teachers recognized how students might bring these ideas to the classroom. We discuss the need for teachers to respond to multiple grain sizes of student thinking, including the metaphors they use and the different facets of each. Assessments that help with this will be of greater value to teachers than the assessment we present.
Physics Education Research Conference 2016
Part of the PER Conference series
Sacramento, CA: July 20-21, 2016
Pages 396-399
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Gravity
Education - Basic Research
- Alternative Conceptions
- Sample Population
= Instructor: In-service
- Professional Development
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
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Format:
application/pdf
Mirror:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/perc.20…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the published article's author(s), title, proceedings citation, and DOI.
Rights Holder:
American Association of Physics Teachers
DOI:
10.1119/perc.2016.pr.094
NSF Numbers:
0962805
1222580
Keyword:
PERC 2016
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created December 1, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
December 29, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 29, 2016
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Record Link
AIP Format
M. Wittmann, C. Alvarado, and L. Millay, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2016, Sacramento, CA, 2016, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14278&DocID=4632).
AJP/PRST-PER
M. Wittmann, C. Alvarado, and L. Millay, Teachers' explanations of student difficulties with gravitational potential energy, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2016, Sacramento, CA, 2016, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14278&DocID=4632>.
APA Format
Wittmann, M., Alvarado, C., & Millay, L. (2016, July 20-21). Teachers' explanations of student difficulties with gravitational potential energy. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2016, Sacramento, CA. Retrieved September 21, 2017, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14278&DocID=4632
Chicago Format
Wittmann, M, C. Alvarado, and L. Millay. "Teachers' explanations of student difficulties with gravitational potential energy." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2016, Sacramento, CA, July 20-21, 2016. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14278&DocID=4632 (accessed 21 September 2017).
MLA Format
Wittmann, Michael, Carolina Alvarado, and Laura Millay. "Teachers' explanations of student difficulties with gravitational potential energy." Physics Education Research Conference 2016. Sacramento, CA: 2016. 396-399 of PER Conference. 21 Sep. 2017 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14278&DocID=4632>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Michael Wittmann and Carolina Alvarado and Laura Millay", Title = {Teachers' explanations of student difficulties with gravitational potential energy}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2016}, Pages = {396-399}, Address = {Sacramento, CA}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {July 20-21}, Year = {2016} }
Refer Export Format

%A Michael Wittmann
%A Carolina Alvarado
%A Laura Millay
%T Teachers' explanations of student difficulties with gravitational potential energy
%S PER Conference
%D July 20-21 2016
%P 396-399
%C Sacramento, CA
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14278&DocID=4632
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2016
%O July 20-21
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Wittmann, Michael
%A Alvarado, Carolina
%A Millay, Laura
%D July 20-21 2016
%T Teachers' explanations of student difficulties with gravitational potential energy
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2016
%C Sacramento, CA
%P 396-399
%S PER Conference
%8 July 20-21
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14278&DocID=4632


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