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Monday afternoon
find a statistically significant correlation between the LCTSR score and the
post-instruction TUG-K scores The main limiting factor seems to be scien-
tific reasoning, regardless of the mode of instruction (online or on-campus
with Peer-Interaction). It is believed that the short time of instruction is
insufficient to have fostered enough of a conceptual change to produce a
marked difference between the student populations. The data suggests that
there is a threshold in scientific reasoning around LCTSR score of 10-12,
below which conceptual understanding for graphs and kinematics will not
develop during the course.
PST1C27: 8:30-9:15 p.m. The Pre-concepts of Japanese
Students Assessed with the FMCE
Poster – Michi Ishimoto, Kochi University of Technology, Tosayamada-cho
Kami-shi, Kochi 780-0832, Japan; ishimoto.michi@kochi--tech.ac.jp
This study identifies the pre-concepts of Japanese students assessed with
the translated version of the FMCE. The data consist of the pretest results
of 1095 students, most of whom were first-year students at a mid-level
engineering school between 2003 and 2012. We found a small percentage
of the students grasped Newtonian concepts. The percentage of Japanese
students who used two concept models together to answer some questions
seems to be higher than that of American students. The students with low
scores more likely switched from one model of a common sense concept to
another to answer the questions.
PST1C28: 9:15-10 p.m. University Students’ Understanding on
Macro-Micro Relationships of Electric Potential
Poster – Jenaro Guisasola, University of the Basque Country, Plaza Europa
1, San Sebastian, 20018, Spain;
Ane Leniz, Kristina Zuza, University of the Basque Country
Relations between electrostatics and electrodynamics are still a source of
teaching-learning problems in the first years of university. In the area of
electricity, research shows that students do not relate concepts studied in
electrostatics with the phenomena that occur in electrical circuits (Eylon
and Ganiel 1990, Park et al. 2001, Thacker et al. 1999). In this poster
we will present several questions that have been used to investigate the
representations of students about the concept of potential difference. The
results presented will show evidence that in current transitional situa-
tions students generally do not perform the analysis of the phenomenon
considering the concept of potential difference. Students show deficiencies
in the explanatory model of charge movement. The results will also show
that students do not use descriptive-macro level (potential difference) and
interpretative-micro level (surface distribution of charges) to explain the
electrical current in a simple circuit current.
PST1C29: 8:30-9:15 p.m. Context and Representation: Insights
from Transfer Research on Teaching Physics
Poster – Dean A. Zollman, Kansas State University, 116 Cardwell Hall, Phys-
ics Department, Manhattan, KS 66506;
N. Sanjay Rebello. Kansas State University
Transfer of learning is frequently considered as the ability to use knowledge
in a context different from the one in which it was learned. Transfer to and
within physics learning are equally important. Much research has shown
us that students rely heavily on their experiences that occurred before they
studied physics when interpreting or applying the principles while they are
studying physics. Thus, they transfer to physics experiences from other for-
mal learning and from everyday life. Using the work Bransford & Schwartz
(1999) as a foundation we have developed a framework for understanding
transfer while students are learning physics. Analyzing one’s teaching in
terms of a transfer framework can help us understand better students’ dif-
ficulties (and successes) when attempting to learn physics.
PST1C30: 9:15-10 p.m. Learner Understanding of Energy
Poster – Abigail R. Daane, Seattle Pacific University, 3307 3rd Ave., W Se-
attle, WA 98119;
Stamatis Vokos, Rachel E. Scherr, Seattle Pacific University
Learners’ everyday ideas about energy often involve energy being”used
up” or “wasted.” In physics, the concept of energy degradation can connect
those ideas to the principle of energy conservation. Learners’ spontane-
ous discussions about aspects of energy degradation have motivated us to
introduce new learning goals into our K-12 teacher professional devel-
opment courses. One of our goals is for teachers to recognize that since
energy degradation is associated with the movement of some quantity to-
wards equilibrium, the identification of energy as degraded or free depends
on the choice of the objects involved. Teacher discussions of a particular
energy scenario (about a wind-powered heating system) led to produc-
tive conversations about the nature of energy degradation and its possible
dependence on the choice of what to include in the scenario.
*This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation
under Grant No. 0822342.
PST1C31: 8:30-9:15 p.m. Physics Professional Development:
Closing the Knowledge Gap
Poster – Mark D. Greenman, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215;
During the summers of 2008 through 2012 five cohorts totaling 114 sec-
ondary school teachers responsible for teaching physics concepts enrolled
in a Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
funded summer institute hosted at area universities to enhance the teach-
ers’ physics content knowledge and to improve their use of research-based
best practices in teaching physics. The content knowledge gap between
male and female science teachers was reduced from a gap of 25% to 6%,
and the gap between physics majors teaching physics and other science
majors teaching physics was reduced from a gap of 31% to 8%. The average
paired fractional gain for these participants was .68 with teachers in every
comparison group showing strong gains (.57 to .74). Just as encouraging,
these gains showed little decay over time.The Force and Motion Con-
ceptual Evaluation (FMCE) tool was utilized to look at change in teacher
content knowledge.
PST1C32: 9:15-10 p.m. Constructing Wind Turbines: Physics,
Engineering, or Both?
Poster – Joshua A. Ellis, University of Minnesota, STEM Education Center,
1954 Buford Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108;
Emily A. Dare, STEM Education Center, University of Minnesota
National reform documents (National Research Council, 2012) are calling
for the integration of engineering into K-12 science standards as a mecha-
nism to not only improve the quantity and quality of the STEM workforce
but to increase STEM literacy for all. This study investigated the classroom
practices of high school physical science teachers following an intensive
professional development on engineering integration. These teachers
incorporated engineering design lessons, such as wind turbine design, into
their physics instruction. Our findings show that teachers oftentimes miss
the mark in explicitly integrating physics content in these lessons. This
resulted in lessons that became stand-alone engineering design challenges
where students neglected to apply known physics concepts to their design.
These findings occurred in all classrooms regardless of the teachers’ physics
content knowledge. In this paper we explore physics teachers’ struggles to
integrate physics and engineering in ways that will enhance the learning of
physics concepts.
PST1C33: 8:30-9:15 p.m. Content Knowledge for Teaching
Energy: Tasks of Teaching
Poster – Robert C. Zisk, Rutgers University, 10 Seminary Pl., New Brunswick,
NJ, 08901;
Eugenia Etkina, Drew Gitomer, Rutgers University
Jim Minstrell, Facet Innovations
Stamatis Vokos, Seattle Pacific University
Content knowledge for teaching (CKT) is a practice-based theory of
the professional knowledge that a person needs in order to be able to
effectively teach a subject (Ball, Thames and Phelps, 2008). Originally
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