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Physical Review Physics Education Research
written by Julia Svoboda Gouvea, Vashti Sawtelle, and Abhilash Nair
Epistemologically oriented reforms of physics courses aim to change the way students think about knowledge and approach learning in physics. A broader goal of these reforms is to impact how students think about knowledge and learning in other courses. We investigate the effects of epistemological reforms in a physics course on knowing and learning in biology courses through a case study of a biology major, Phillip, who was enrolled in a year-long reformed introductory physics for the life sciences (IPLS) course. First, we show that Phillip's epistemological framing of the physics course became more sophisticated, aligning with reforms designed to emphasize reasoning with foundational principles, seeking meaning and coherence. He also developed an approach to learning physics that involved coordinating understanding between course readings and class discussions and reconciling discrepancies with peers and the teaching assistant. Second, we present evidence of the impact of this new epistemological framing on Phillip's interpretation of his biology courses. Before the year in physics, Phillip framed his biology courses as about understanding. By the end of the year, Phillip reversed his stance on biology learning, reporting that he had actually been memorizing all this time. We discuss these results to highlight the success of epistemological reforms in physics beyond the confines of the physics classroom, to motivate attention epistemological reform beyond physics, and to offer suggestions for how IPLS courses can work towards creating epistemological connections to other disciplines.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 15, Issue 1, Pages 010107
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Pedagogy
= Multidisciplinary
Education - Basic Research
- Cognition
= Cognition Development
- Learning Theory
= Transfer
- Problem Solving
= Metacognition
- Student Characteristics
= Affect
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
Other Sciences
- Life Sciences
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Article
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Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010107
NSF Number:
DUE-1122818
Keywords:
IPLS case study, Introductory Physics for Life Sciences, knowledge construction
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created March 28, 2019 by Bruce Mason
Record Updated:
June 5, 2023 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 22, 2019
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AIP Format
J. Gouvea, V. Sawtelle, and A. Nair, , Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15 (1), 010107 (2019), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010107).
AJP/PRST-PER
J. Gouvea, V. Sawtelle, and A. Nair, Epistemological progress in physics and its impact on biology, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15 (1), 010107 (2019), <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010107>.
APA Format
Gouvea, J., Sawtelle, V., & Nair, A. (2019, January 22). Epistemological progress in physics and its impact on biology. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 15(1), 010107. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010107
Chicago Format
Gouvea, J, V. Sawtelle, and A. Nair. "Epistemological progress in physics and its impact on biology." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15, no. 1, (January 22, 2019): 010107, https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010107 (accessed 23 June 2024).
MLA Format
Gouvea, Julia Svoboda, Vashti Sawtelle, and Abhilash Nair. "Epistemological progress in physics and its impact on biology." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15.1 (2019): 010107. 23 June 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010107>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Julia Svoboda Gouvea and Vashti Sawtelle and Abhilash Nair", Title = {Epistemological progress in physics and its impact on biology}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {15}, Number = {1}, Pages = {010107}, Month = {January}, Year = {2019} }
Refer Export Format

%A Julia Svoboda Gouvea %A Vashti Sawtelle %A Abhilash Nair %T Epistemological progress in physics and its impact on biology %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 15 %N 1 %D January 22, 2019 %P 010107 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010107 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Gouvea, Julia Svoboda %A Sawtelle, Vashti %A Nair, Abhilash %D January 22, 2019 %T Epistemological progress in physics and its impact on biology %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 15 %N 1 %P 010107 %8 January 22, 2019 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010107


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