A case study of a novice college student's alternative framework and learning of force and motion

The Pennsylvania State University, USA

Supervisor: Lunetta, Vincent N.

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Abstract

A case study design was used to investigate in detail one female freshman college student's alternative conceptions, alternative framework and learning of force and motion during a short small group instruction and subsequent tutoring interviews. The researcher in this study acted as the teacher of the small group and the tutor for the interviews. The student who participated in this study had a very limited physics learning experience: during her prior schooling she had taken only a seventh grade physical science course. Although she could remember some information, her conceptions were mostly based on her daily experiences and expectations. Analysis of data showed that during interaction with the teacher-researcher the student seemed to be undergoing conceptual development. However, repeated interviews after the short small group instruction provided evidence that after each session she reverted back to her prior conceptions. An analysis of her alternative conceptions revealed that her alternative framework was significantly different from the Newtonian framework and did not include acceleration for explaining force and motion. It was also revealed that her knowledge base was primarily a collection of expectations for each possible situation. Thus, her learning was characterized as adding or changing factual knowledge to her existing structure. This study suggests that the concept of acceleration plays a central role in learning force and motion in congruence with Newton's laws. Otherwise, a conceptual integration of the concepts of force, motion, and acceleration cannot be achieved and the knowledge base remains fragmented. Implications for further research are also included.

Information was taken from http://www.umi.com and it is also available for free from Penn State University Libraries Web site at http://etda.libraries.psu.edu/theses/available/etd-0413101-002254 

The abstract below is the same as it is in the original dissertation.

Publication Number: AAT 3016671

Author: Tasar, Mehmet Fatih;

School: THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

Degree: PhD

Degree Date: 2001

Adviser: Lunetta, Vincent N.

Source: DAI-A 62/06, p. 2021, Dec 2001

ISBN: 0-493-27207-0

Pages: 301

Subject: EDUCATION, CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION (0727); EDUCATION,

HIGHER (0745); EDUCATION, SCIENCES (0714)

Correspondence

M. Fatih Tasar, PhD

Gazi Universitesi

Gazi Egitim Fakultesi

K Blok Z 20

06500 Teknikokullar

Ankara TURKEY

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