Evolution of Theoretical Perspectives in My Research Documents

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Evolution of Theoretical Perspectives in My Research 

written by Valerie K. Otero

Over the past 10 years I have been using socio-cultural theoretical perspectives to understand how people learn physics in a highly interactive, inquiry-based physics course such as Physics and Everyday Thinking. As a result of using various perspectives (e.g. Distributed Cognition and Vygotsky's Theory of Concept Formation), my understanding of how these perspectives can be useful for investigating students' learning processes has changed. In this paper, I illustrate changes in my thinking about the role of socio-cultural perspectives in understanding physics learning and describe elements of my thinking that have remained fairly stable. Finally, I will discuss pitfalls in the use of certain perspectives and discuss areas that need attention in theoretical development for PER.

Published November 11, 2009
Last Modified March 11, 2010