program_wb_i - page 85

July 26–30, 2014
Monday afternoon
explicitly verified through larger-scale integrative investigations. In this
study, we use path analysis to test the causal influence of scientific reason-
ing and epistemology on content learning. Results show that student pre-
instructional reasoning skills (measured by the Classroom Test of Scientific
Reasoning) and epistemologies (measured by the Colorado Learning Atti-
tudes about Science Survey) are significant causal factors for learning gains
on the Force Concept Inventory. However, post-instructional epistemology
is not a significant contributor to learning gains.
PST1C25: 8:30-9:15 p.m. Identifying Blended Ontologies for
Poster – Benjamin W. Dreyfus, University of Maryland, Department of Phys-
ics, College Park, MD 20742;
Ayush Gupta, Edward F. Redish, University of Maryland
Energy is an abstract concept, but students and experts alike reason about
energy using ontological metaphors: metaphors that indicate what kind of
a thing energy is. These metaphors include energy as a substance (“This
object has a lot of energy”) and energy as a vertical location (“It dropped
down to a lower energy”). Both of these metaphors can be productive, but
each one has its limitations. In our previous work, we have shown that
students and experts can productively combine the substance and location
metaphors for energy and coordinate them coherently. Here, we examine
instances in which students are using both metaphors, and argue that,
in some cases, students blend these two separate metaphors into a single
ontology for energy. To determine this, we employ an integrated methodol-
ogy, analyzing both the verbal metaphors and the gestures that the students
PST1C26: 9:15-10 p.m. It’s “Just Math”: A New Epistemic
Poster – Steven F. Wolf, CREATE for STEM Institute, Michigan State Univer-
sity, East Lansing, MI 48824;
Ying Chen, Paul W. Irving, Eleanor Sayre, Kansas State University
Marcos D. Caballero, Michigan State University
Physicists use mathematics as a tool to model physical phenomena.
Students learn to use sophisticated mathematical tools (e.g, vector calculus
and Taylor series) in their physics courses, but often struggle to employ
them in novel situations. As part of a new collaboration between the Phys-
ics Education Research groups at Michigan State University and Kansas
State University, we reviewed video of students solving a variety of physics
problems in interview and small group settings. We identified patterns of
student behavior and discourse that we are calling the “Just Math” epis-
temic frame. A specific epistemic frame can be described as the network
of activations and inhibitions of resources in response to a person’s current
activity. The Just Math frame is marked by little or no verbal communica-
tion as well as a change in body language; transitions into and out of this
frame are both obvious and abrupt. Furthermore, these transitions appear
universal, inevitable, and predictable.
PST1C27: 8:30-9:15 p.m. Differences of Elementary School
Students’ Learning Process in “Velocity of the Object”
According to their Mathematical Ability
Poster – Kyungmi Lee, Seoul National University of Education, Seochogu
Seochojungangro 96 Seoul, GyeongGi-Do 137-875; kyungmilee1004@
Many elementary school students have difficulties in learning “velocity of
the object.” We have approached to this problem with a question of a rela-
tionship between mathematical ability and learning process of this subject.
We assessed the mathematical ability of students as well as the achieve-
ment of the students in the subject. Based on the two results, we separated
the students into three groups; high, middle, and low. We also acquired
the correlation data between mathematical ability and achievement of the
subject - velocity of the object. And then we interviewed the students in
each group to ask their learning process. As a consequence of this research,
we found out some meaningful suggestion for teaching and learning this
subject. We’d like to share our findings.
PST1C28: 9:15-10 p.m. Becoming a Physicist: The Roles of
Research, Mindsets, and Milestones
Poster – Paul W. Irving, Kansas State University, 116 Cardwell Hall, KSU
Manhattan, KS 66506;
Eleanor C. Sayre, Kansas State University
The development of an appropriate subject-specific identity is a strong
influence on retention within a discipline. In physics, there is a strong
link between how students identify with being a physicist and whether or
not they have decided on a physical science career. As part of a longi-
tudinal study into subject-specific identity development in upper-level
physics students, we examined students perceptions on various aspects
of their physics identity. Using a phenomenographic methodology, we
present four different perceptions of what it means to be a physicist. The
categories of perception centered around the level of exclusivity students
associate with being a physicist and the importance they placed on the
relationship between being a physicist and conducting physics research.
A subset of the original students were reinterviewed to determine if their
perceptions of being physicists had changed. Similar categories emerged
but there were significant changes in individual students’ perceptions.
PST1C29: 8:30-9:15 p.m. Supporting Physics Majors: More than
Poster – Sissi L. Li, California State University Fullerton, 800 N. State Col-
lege Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92831-3547;
Michael E. Loverude, California State University Fullerton
As instructors, our primary goal is to help students learn physics. We
naturally focus our efforts on preparing course materials and manag-
ing classroom interactions. In this poster, we argue that awareness of,
understanding of, and participation in the students’ experiences outside
of the classroom can not only enhance learning in the classroom but also
support student persistence and enthusiasm for physics. We present case
studies of physics majors constructed using data from reflective journals,
classroom observations and individual interviews. Some of the experi-
ences described as pivotal by the students were not completely academic
in nature and thus were easily overlooked or ignored by instructors. We
will highlight the impact that these experiences have had on the students’
progress through their majors. Further we suggest that while instructors
are understandably reluctant to delve too deeply into students’ personal
lives, there can be considerable benefits in the students’ development.
PST1C30: 9:15-10 p.m. Beyond the Numbers: Finding
Mechanisms to Support Diversity
Poster – Vashti A. Sawtelle, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Julia Svoboda Gouvea, University of California, Davis
Chandra Turpen, University of Maryland, College Park
Understanding issues of diversity and equity in physics has historically
taken the lens of documenting broad patterns of participation of women
and ethnically underrepresented groups. This work has explored reasons
for differing levels in participation including conceptual understanding,
physics identity, and student self-efficacy. A common aim of this work has
been to examine the impact of these variables on the prevalence of under-
represented groups in physics. We present an alternative lens on diversity
and equity that centers on better understanding and supporting student
trajectories of participation over time. Drawing from case study data of
a biology major in an introductory physics class, we argue that access
to a professional community of scientists must start from exposure to,
participation in, and developing an affinity towards a variety of scientific
practices. We articulate how this perspective informs a model of support-
ing diverse students who are commonly disenfranchised from physics.
PST1C31: 8:30-9:15 p.m. Vector Addition in Different Contexts:
A Fine-Grained Study
Poster – Philip B. Southey, University of Cape Town, 10 Zion Road, Clare-
mont Cape Town, 7700 South Africa;
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