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2010 Summer Meeting

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

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Students' Epistemological Beliefs vis-à-vis Problem Solving Sophistication in M&I Physics
  Location: SS Ballroom ABC
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.3
  Time: 2:10 PM -2:20 PM
  Author: Wendi Wampler, Purdue University
  Co-Author(s): Lynn A. Bryan , Mark P Haugan
  Abstract: In this study, we investigated the relationship between students' personal epistemological beliefs and problem solving sophistication within the context of a large-scale implementation of the M&I Curriculum. We utilized a mixed methods approach to follow the progress of nine student volunteers from the introductory mechanics course at Purdue University. The quantitative component used the CLASS survey to examine the epistemological beliefs of students over the semester. The qualitative component examined students' problem solving within the context of small group work, as well as epistemological beliefs in the context of the post recitation interviews. Results showed three major trends: a decrease in sophistication of both problem solving and epistemological beliefs, a high level of sophistication of both with little change throughout the semester, and increase in both epistemological beliefs and problem solving. The implications will help us better understand the importance of epistemological beliefs and their influence on students' problem solving.
  Footnotes: None
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