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Learning how to formulate scientific reasoning in physics or "physics language"

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haushofer
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Dear all,

to become a teacher I have to deduct a research to improve my teaching and/or to "solve" a didactical problem I encounter. This research, my proposal for a solution etc. has to be motivated by scientific literature.

I observed that a lot of students have problems with formulating answers to questions correctly. Especially with conceptual questions often they formulate quite sloppy, but from their answers I often smell (I have a good nose :P ) that they're looking for it in the right direction. So I chose to investigate whether and how I can improve their physical/scientific reasoning. They have to get more acquinted with the "physics language". So my research question more or less is

"How can I improve the scientific reasoning of my students in describing physical concepts"?

The reason for my choice is my conviction that STEM education, and thus physics, improves the skill of reasoning and problem solving in general, and that my ambition to improve their scientific reasoning helps with developing this skill.

I think I want to focus mainly on answering conceptual questions.describing physical concepts, because in answering questions with a "calculational" emphasis they use the familiar steps of "what is given, what is asked, which formula etc". I already found some literature in my own language (Dutch), and I was wondering whether some of you know of international literature/research concerning my research question. Also, literature subscribing or critizing my conviction is welcome! If some of you have tried to improve something similarly in STEM education in general, I'm happy to hear about your experiences!

I hope my question is clear, all input is appreciated! All the best :)
 
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gleem
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Edward Redish, Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, has been doing research in the issues of learning/teaching physics for many decades. I first discovered his program in an article published in "Physics Today", a monthly publication of the American Institute of Physics, entitled "Teaching Physics: Figuring Out What Works" in which he discusses some issues in problem solving . You can download it here https://physicstoday.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.882568

You may also want to check out his website too.
http://umdperg.pbworks.com/w/page/10511199/Joe Redish
 
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BvU
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Physics Today is behind a pay wall, but the PERG site has lots of good stuff !
 
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gleem
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haushofer
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Dear all,

to become a teacher I have to deduct a research to improve my teaching and/or to "solve" a didactical problem I encounter. This research, my proposal for a solution etc. has to be motivated by scientific literature.

I observed that a lot of students have problems with formulating answers to questions correctly. Especially with conceptual questions often they formulate quite sloppy, but from their answers I often smell (I have a good nose :P ) that they're looking for it in the right direction. So I chose to investigate whether and how I can improve their physical/scientific reasoning. They have to get more acquinted with the "physics language". So my research question more or less is

"How can I improve the scientific reasoning of my students in describing physical concepts"?

The reason for my choice is my conviction that STEM education, and thus physics, improves the skill of reasoning and problem solving in general, and that my ambition to improve their scientific reasoning helps with developing this skill.

I think I want to focus mainly on answering conceptual questions.describing physical concepts, because in answering questions with a "calculational" emphasis they use the familiar steps of "what is given, what is asked, which formula etc". I already found some literature in my own language (Dutch), and I was wondering whether some of you know of international Kodi Lucky Patcher nox literature/research concerning my research question. Also, literature subscribing or critizing my conviction is welcome! If some of you have tried to improve something similarly in STEM education in general, I'm happy to hear about your experiences!

I hope my question is clear, all input is appreciated! All the best :)
So, your difficultly in this class is absolutely normal. The mathematical maturity will come. If you are talented, it will come quickly with sufficient effort. If you are not, it will take more practice, but you will get it. Just keep at it, and don't cut corners. If you are unsure of a physical principle, read a derivation, then try to derive it for yourself later. Above all else, make sure that you learn conceptually. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that memorization can help you. It will never. Keep these ideas in mind, and remember that if the physics is hard, that's ok - it's supposed to be!
 
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ZapperZ
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So, your difficultly in this class is absolutely normal. The mathematical maturity will come. If you are talented, it will come quickly with sufficient effort. If you are not, it will take more practice, but you will get it. Just keep at it, and don't cut corners. If you are unsure of a physical principle, read a derivation, then try to derive it for yourself later. Above all else, make sure that you learn conceptually. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that memorization can help you. It will never. Keep these ideas in mind, and remember that if the physics is hard, that's ok - it's supposed to be!
I think you are missing something crucial here.

The OP is asking about him, AS A TEACHER, in trying to get his students to think more analytically. This is not a question that a student is asking.

Please note that this is a forum dedicated to Teaching and to Educators, not to students.

Zz.
 
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symbolipoint
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Learning how to formulate scientific reasoning in physics or "physics language"

When you are not sure yet how next to proceed, run a blank.
 
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HallsofIvy
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What does "run a blank" mean?
 
  • #10
Klystron
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Retired for many years I no longer have access to the most current (and paid for) literature on learning, but this treatment of cognitive and knowledge theory, though superficial, may help direct your search. I found gestalt theory a rich source for pedagogical research.

In the modern era information processing theory offers many avenues to communicate knowledge to students and also evaluate learned skills. An holistic approach might include showing selected videos of a laboratory experiment to supplement lecture prior to students performing the experiment in labs. Medical training utilizes simulation in lieu of actual patients with computers able to mimic a wide variety of symptoms.

One example I encountered at NASA involved complex crew factor studies on an advanced concepts flight simulator. Participants in the experiment -- all senior airline pilots -- were wired with a variety of electrodes and sensors then challenged to learn new tasks while in flight. I helped develop a part-task flight simulator running on a workstation that 1) evaluated basic knowledge and skill levels, 2) familiarized subjects with the learning process, while 3) conditioning the pilots to perform with sensors attached before entering the sim. As the experiment progressed the performance of control groups without prior conditioning were compared to the prepared cohort.

Similar methods were adopted at SRI International to evaluate language skills and acquisition using advanced speech technology coupled with machine learning.
 

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