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Abstract Title: Vexing Questions that Sustain Sensemaking
Abstract: Many physics instructors aim to support student sensemaking in their classrooms. However, this can be challenging since instances of sensemaking are often short-lived, with students defaulting back to approaches based on answer-making or rote mathematical manipulation. In this talk, we will present evidence that specific types of student questions can serve a key role in sustaining the sensemaking process. Using a case-study of two students discussing an E&M thought experiment, we show how students' entry into sensemaking is marked by a specific question and how this question recurs throughout their subsequent explanation, arguing that these recurrences may serve to stabilize and extend the sensemaking process. We will then describe instructional and research implications of these types of vexing questions.
Abstract Type: Symposium Talk
Parallel Session: Making Sense of Physics Sensemaking
Parallel Session: Parallel Sessions Cluster II
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Tor Ole Odden
University of Oslo
Oslo, Norway,
and Co-Presenter(s)
Rosemary Russ, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Invited Presentation

Invited Presentation: Download the Invited Presentation