A Model of Concept Learning in Physics

  • Wagner Clemens
  • Vaterlaus Andreas
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Physics book series (SPPHY, volume 145)


Learning concepts in physics is difficult due to the often simultaneous presence of misconceptions. We have developed a dynamic model of concept learning, which includes the dynamics of misconceptions. In its simplest form the model simulates the learning of the concept and the unlearning of the misconception with a two-dimensional differential equation system. The major conclusion from our model simulations is that while teaching a concept, misconceptions should be intensively addressed. Rapid decay of concept knowledge observed in experiments after concept teaching is explained in our model with the persistent presence of a high level of misconception.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wagner Clemens
    • 1
  • Vaterlaus Andreas
    • 1
  1. 1.Solid State Dynamics and EducationETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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