Identifying Student Difficulty in Problem Solving Process via the Framework of the House Model (HM) Documents

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Identifying student difficulty in problem solving process via the framework of the House Model (HM) 

written by Taejin Byun, Sangwoo Ha, and Gyoungho Lee

Recently, many students have been losing their interest in physics. One of the essential reasons why students look away from physics is the fact that they face difficulty in solving physics problems. Since mechanics is a fundamental subject in physics, many researchers have studied how students learn mechanics and solve problems related to mechanics. However, there is little research on the students' specific difficulties in the process of problem solving. This study investigated degree of students' difficulties in process and the core sources of these difficulties. 24 university students who majored in physics education participated in this study. We have developed a framework, House Model (HM), for helping and analyzing students' problem solving. We found that students felt greater difficulty in planning and executing steps than in visualizing, knowing and finding steps. As the problems grew in difficulty, this pattern became more distinct. We also found the sources of the students' difficulties and discussed the educational implications of these results.

Published October 20, 2008
Last Modified May 21, 2009

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