intro - Conceptual Understanding: Its not just for...

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Unformatted text preview: Conceptual Understanding: Its not just for breakfast anymore. Jeff Adams & Greg Francis Conceptual Astronomy and Physics Education Research (CAPER) Group Montana State University Bozeman, MT Another talk about course reform... Multi-level marketing: Conceptual Physics 103 Trig-based Physics 205 - 206 Calc-based Physics 211 - 212 Physics for Poets Pre-meds Teachers Physics Majors Engineers A B C A D C Conditions: hand pushes the same, frictionless table Compare: the force that C exerts on B to the force that C exerts on D. A B C A D C Step 1: Net force on both systems the same, therefore second system has greater acceleration. Step 2: Net force on C is greater in second scenario. Hence, D pushes on C harder than B pushes on C. Step 3: By Newtons 3rd law, the force of C on D is greater than the force of C on B. Why dont they get it ? The Problem: Wow, its amazing how you can do well in physics and not know what you are doing. Traditional instruction allows students to play passive role Equations are introduced early in the typical presentation Students tend to avoid analyzing situations qualitatively once equations are introduced Pretest: rank the bulbs A B C D E Post-instruction results: Correct: 10% Algebra-based 15% Calculus-based Correct answer: A=D=E>B=C Specific difficulties identified: belief that current is used up confusion between voltage and current belief that battery is constant current source belief that order of elements in circuit matters etc Understanding or Memorization: Are we teaching the right thing? Eric Mazur Harvard University traditional question: Calculate: (a) the current in the 2 resistor, and (b) the potential difference between points a and b. conceptual question: When S is closed, what happens to the: (a) intensities of A and B? (b) intensity of C? (c) current through battery? (d) voltage drop across A, B, and C? (e) total power dissipated? results for Harvard class: average: 7.8/10 average: 2.4/10 conceptual question: When S is closed, what happens to the: (a) intensities of A and B? (b) intensity of C?...
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intro - Conceptual Understanding: Its not just for...

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