ERG SES F 02, Parallel Session F 02
Problem solving is an important research area in both science and mathematics education. A student’s approach while solving a physics problem indicates more than how s/he used mathematics to explain the physical events. It provides information about students’ knowledge organization and reasoning patterns about them.
In comparison of novices’ and experts’ problem solving, it was identified a difference in organizing the knowledge. For example although experts provided qualitative arguments, novices started to solve physics problems by using complex mathematical equations (Reif & Heller, 1982) instead of qualitatively analysis of the variables given in the problems. Maloney (1994) also identified novice students mostly memorized the formula and solve the problems in plug and chug way, and when it did not work, they used another equation without thinking. Walsh, Howard and Bowe (2007) identified categories of students’ problem solving. The results showed that majority of students did not approach physics problems qualitatively.
In this study, we aimed to examine pre-service physics teachers’ problem solving paths in a modern physics topic, which is Doppler Effect. Doppler Effect is one of the important phenomena of physics since it contains some key concepts of modern physics. From students’ perspective, it also provides interesting contexts for physics problems.
Maloney, D. P. (1994). Research on problem solving: Physics. In D. L. Gabel (Ed.), Handbook of research on science teaching and learning (pp. 327-356). New York: Macmillan. Reif, F., & Heler, J. I. (1982). Knowledge structure and problem solving in physics. Educational Psychologist, 17(2), 102-127. Walsh L. N., Howard, R. G., & Bowe, B. (2007). Phenomenographic study of students’ problem solving approaches in physics, Physical Review Special Topics: Physics Education Research, 3(2) 020108, 1-12.
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