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Abstract Title: Examining the integration of physics equations in students’ biological reasoning
Abstract: Policy documents advocate for greater integration of physics and mathematics into biology curricula. However, there has been little research on how students make use of physics and mathematics in biological reasoning. To address this need, we examine how students use physics equations when discussing diffusion and circulation in interviews. We present two cases: one where a student leverages the specific algebraic form of these equations in building a biological explanation and one where this is not observed. By connecting analysis of observed reasoning patterns with their expressed epistemological beliefs, we highlight implications for thinking about the physics-biology integration. In particular, our findings suggest that making something quantitative just for the sake of making something quantitative does not necessarily add value and may have negative consequences for students' expressed views about equations.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jessica Watkins
Tufts University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Chandra Turpen, University of Maryland, College Park