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Middle School Physics Teachers' Content Knowledge of Acceleration
written by Elijah Tabachnick, Peter Colesworthy, and Michael C. Wittmann
In the "speed model" of accelerated motion, the terms "speeding up" and "slowing down" are equated with positive and negative acceleration, respectively. As part of the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership, we have investigated middle school physical science teachers' understanding of accelerated motion in the context of using vectors as a pictorial tool for kinematics and found a high prevalence of the speed model. Through surveys, interviews, and observation of professional development activities, we have found that the teachers consistently use the correct mathematical tools to talk about displacements and velocities, and correctly use vectors to represent displacements, velocities and accelerations. However, when interpreting the acceleration of an object, teachers often use the speed model, which contradicts their other work. We discuss this result and present two conjectures about its possible origin.
Physics Education Research Conference 2017
Part of the PER Conference series
Cincinnati, OH: July 26-27, 2017
Pages 384-387
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Motion in One Dimension
= Acceleration
= Velocity
- Newton's Second Law
= Force, Acceleration
Education - Basic Research
- Alternative Conceptions
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
- Sample Population
= Instructor: In-service
- Teacher Characteristics
= Content Knowledge
Mathematical Tools
- Vector Algebra
- Graduate/Professional
- Professional Development
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
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Format:
application/pdf
Mirror:
https://doi.org/10.1119/perc.2017…
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.2017.pr.091
NSF Number:
0962805
Keyword:
PERC 2017
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created February 26, 2018 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
March 1, 2018 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
March 1, 2018
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Record Link
AIP Format
E. Tabachnick, P. Colesworthy, and M. Wittmann, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2017, Cincinnati, OH, 2017, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14651&DocID=4828).
AJP/PRST-PER
E. Tabachnick, P. Colesworthy, and M. Wittmann, Middle School Physics Teachers' Content Knowledge of Acceleration, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2017, Cincinnati, OH, 2017, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14651&DocID=4828>.
APA Format
Tabachnick, E., Colesworthy, P., & Wittmann, M. (2017, July 26-27). Middle School Physics Teachers' Content Knowledge of Acceleration. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2017, Cincinnati, OH. Retrieved August 11, 2020, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14651&DocID=4828
Chicago Format
Tabachnick, E, P. Colesworthy, and M. Wittmann. "Middle School Physics Teachers' Content Knowledge of Acceleration." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2017, Cincinnati, OH, July 26-27, 2017. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14651&DocID=4828 (accessed 11 August 2020).
MLA Format
Tabachnick, Elijah, Peter Colesworthy, and Michael Wittmann. "Middle School Physics Teachers' Content Knowledge of Acceleration." Physics Education Research Conference 2017. Cincinnati, OH: 2017. 384-387 of PER Conference. 11 Aug. 2020 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14651&DocID=4828>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Elijah Tabachnick and Peter Colesworthy and Michael Wittmann", Title = {Middle School Physics Teachers' Content Knowledge of Acceleration}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2017}, Pages = {384-387}, Address = {Cincinnati, OH}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {July 26-27}, Year = {2017} }
Refer Export Format

%A Elijah Tabachnick
%A Peter Colesworthy
%A Michael Wittmann
%T Middle School Physics Teachers' Content Knowledge of Acceleration
%S PER Conference
%D July 26-27 2017
%P 384-387
%C Cincinnati, OH
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14651&DocID=4828
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2017
%O July 26-27
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Tabachnick, Elijah
%A Colesworthy, Peter
%A Wittmann, Michael
%D July 26-27 2017
%T Middle School Physics Teachers' Content Knowledge of Acceleration
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2017
%C Cincinnati, OH
%P 384-387
%S PER Conference
%8 July 26-27
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14651&DocID=4828


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