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2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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Students' Contradictory Commitments in Damped Harmonic Motion Problems
  Location: HC 3023 & 3023A
  Date: Monday, Aug.1
  Time: 7:10 PM -7:20 PM
  Author: Adam Kaczynski, The University of Maine
  Co-Author(s): Michael C. Wittmann
  Abstract: Students working through the Intermediate Mechanics Tutorials on damped harmonic motion are expected to use mathematical, graphical, and physical reasoning, as well as their intuitions. We observe that students remain committed to assumptions they bring to the problem, not using the instructional resources provided by the tutorials. We also observe moments when commitment to an assumption in, for example, mathematical reasoning conflicts with a conclusion found through physical reasoning. We will discuss the effect of multiple commitments on students' classroom discussion and the way that students reconcile contradictory commitments and conclusions.
  Footnotes: None
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