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American Journal of Physics
written by Aaron R. Warren
One of the central roles of physics education is the development of students' ability to evaluate proposed hypotheses and models. This ability is important not just for students' understanding of physics but also to prepare students for future learning beyond physics. In particular, it is often hoped that students will better understand the manner in which physicists leverage the availability of prior knowledge to guide and constrain the construction of new knowledge. Here, we discuss how the use of Bayes' Theorem to update the estimated likelihood of hypotheses and models can help achieve these educational goals through its integration with evaluative activities that use hypothetico-deductive reasoning. Several types of classroom and laboratory activities are presented that engage students in the practice of Bayesian likelihood updating on the basis of either consistency with experimental data or consistency with pre-established principles and models. This approach is sufficiently simple for introductory physics students while offering a robust mechanism to guide relatively sophisticated student reflection concerning models, hypotheses, and problem-solutions. A quasi-experimental study utilizing algebra-based introductory courses is presented to assess the impact of these activities on student epistemological development. The results indicate gains on the Epistemological Beliefs Assessment for Physical Science (EBAPS) at a minimal cost of class-time.
American Journal of Physics: Volume 86, Issue 5, Pages 368-380
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Cognition
= Cognition Development
- Learning Theory
= Cognitive Modeling
- Research Design & Methodology
= Evaluation
= Statistics
- Student Characteristics
= Ability
= Affect
Education Practices
- Active Learning
= Modeling
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
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© 2018 American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT)
DOI:
10.1119/1.5012750
Keywords:
Bayes' Theorem, epistemology, error analysis, modeling instruction, physics attitudes, sense-making, student attitudes
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created February 15, 2022 by Adrian Madsen
Record Updated:
April 4, 2022 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
April 19, 2018
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AIP Format
A. Warren, , Am. J. Phys. 86 (5), 368 (2018), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5012750).
AJP/PRST-PER
A. Warren, Quantitative critical thinking: Student activities using Bayesian updating, Am. J. Phys. 86 (5), 368 (2018), <https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5012750>.
APA Format
Warren, A. (2018, April 19). Quantitative critical thinking: Student activities using Bayesian updating. Am. J. Phys., 86(5), 368-380. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5012750
Chicago Format
Warren, Aaron. "Quantitative critical thinking: Student activities using Bayesian updating." Am. J. Phys. 86, no. 5, (April 19, 2018): 368-380, https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5012750 (accessed 12 June 2024).
MLA Format
Warren, Aaron. "Quantitative critical thinking: Student activities using Bayesian updating." Am. J. Phys. 86.5 (2018): 368-380. 12 June 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5012750>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Aaron Warren", Title = {Quantitative critical thinking: Student activities using Bayesian updating}, Journal = {Am. J. Phys.}, Volume = {86}, Number = {5}, Pages = {368-380}, Month = {April}, Year = {2018} }
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%A Aaron Warren %T Quantitative critical thinking: Student activities using Bayesian updating %J Am. J. Phys. %V 86 %N 5 %D April 19, 2018 %P 368-380 %U https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5012750 %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Warren, Aaron %D April 19, 2018 %T Quantitative critical thinking: Student activities using Bayesian updating %J Am. J. Phys. %V 86 %N 5 %P 368-380 %8 April 19, 2018 %U https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5012750


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