How do students learn to apply their mathematical knowledge to interpret graphs in physics?
- 409 Downloads
This paper describes a laboratory-based program in physics designed to help students build effective links between the mathematical equations used to solve problems in mechanics and the real world of moving objects. Through the analysis of straight line graphs derived from their own data students have been able to achieve a considerable development towards a concept of slope, or gradient, and how it relates to the concept of proportionality, but they continue to demonstrate a great resistance to applying their mathematical knowledge to physics. A model designed to help us apply current research ideas to this problem is described. The work described in this paper was carried out at Dickson College, a government senior secondary college (Years 11 and 12) in the Australian Capital Territory, where the author taught physics and biology.
KeywordsMathematical Knowledge Laboratory Work Data Student Australian Capital Australian Capital Territory
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Friedler, Y., & Tamir, P. (1990). Life in science laboratory classrooms at secondary level. In E. Hegarty-Hazel (Ed.),The student laboratory and the science curriculum (pp. 337–356). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Hewitt, P. G. (1987).Conceptual physics. A high school program (Teaching guide). Sydney, NSW: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.Google Scholar
- Australian Capital Territory, Board of Senior Secondary Studies. (1995).Physics course framework. Canberra, ACT: Author.Google Scholar
- Russell, P. (1979).The brain book. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
- Schollum, B., & Osborne, R. (1985). Relating the new to the familiar. In R. Osborne, & P. Freyberg (Eds.),Learning in science. The implications of children's science (p. 52). Auckland, NZ: Heinemann Education.Google Scholar
- Curriculum Corporation. (1994).Statement on Science for Australian Schools. Carlton, Victoria: Curriculum Corporation.Google Scholar
- Tasker, R. (1992). Effective teaching. What can a constructivist view of learning offer?The Australian Science Teachers Journal, 38(1), 25–34.Google Scholar
- Tobin, K. (1990). Research on science laboratory activities: In pursuit of better questions and answers to improve learning.School Science and Mathematics, 90(5), 403–418.Google Scholar
- Woolnough, B., & Allsop, T. (1985).Practical work in science. London: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar