• Sharareh MajidiEmail author


Knowledge is not simply a collection of facts, principles, and formulas; instead, meaningful knowledge is organized around core concepts that guide peoples’ thinking about a subject. Therefore, knowledge organization is recognized as an important component of understanding learning and teaching. In this research, knowledge organization of two physics university textbooks was compared with that of four physics university teachers. The topic studied was magnetostatics with an emphasis on two topics of Biot-Savart law and Ampère’s law. The aim of study was to examine the structural features of the subject matter knowledge of teachers and textbooks. For this reason, concept maps were utilized to picture clearly their knowledge organizations. Concept maps were evaluated by means of a focus on their structural characteristics including hierarchy and clustering. Results indicate that the hierarchical organizations between knowledge of teachers and textbooks vary from one topic to another. The hierarchical organizations of teachers are more comparable to textbooks for the topic of Biot-Savart law. The clustering behaves in a very similar way in the case of patterns between textbooks and teachers for both topics. It was observed that the knowledge arrangements of Ampère’s law were more hierarchical, while the knowledge organizations of Biot-Savart were more clustered. Moreover, structural properties varied from one topic to another, even though topics belong to the same context. The possibility of recognizing such difference in knowledge organization is a first step towards developing more effective teaching and learning solutions.

Key words

Ampère’s law Biot-Savart law clustering hierarchy organization of knowledge university physics teachers university physics textbooks 


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Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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