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Evaluating secondary school students’ interest and conceptual understanding of circuits
written by Jan-Philipp Burde, Thomas Wilhelm, Martin Hopf, Lana Ivanjek, Thomas Schubatzky, Claudia Haagen-Schützenhöfer, Liza Dopatka, and Verena Spatz
Electric circuits are an important element of physics classes in Austria, Germany, and most countries around the world. However, many students leave secondary school without having an appropriate conceptual understanding of simple circuits. Voltage in particular has proven to be a difficult concept as students think of it as a property or component of the electric current. Furthermore, research has shown that girls tend to have a lower interest in physics than boys and that context-based physics instruction is a promising approach to increase girls' interest. However, it is unclear whether decades of research on students' conceptual difficulties e.g. with voltage as well as research into ways to promote girls' interest have had a significant impact on physics classrooms. For this reason, the conceptual understanding of electric circuits as well as the interest in physics of N = 1207 traditionally taught students in Germany and Austria was assessed using a valid and reliable multiple-choice test. The empirical evaluation of the data shows that female students are still not as interested in physics as their male peers, despite achieving the same total learning gain in the multiple-choice test. An analysis of two items of the test instrument focusing on potential differences furthermore suggests that traditional instruction still fails to provide students with an adequate conceptual understanding of voltage as an independent physical quantity that refers to a difference in electric potential between two points in a circuit. These results underline the need to develop research-based curricula on electric circuits that take into account the findings on students' interests and alternative conceptions.
Physics Education Research Conference 2020
Part of the PER Conference series
Virtual Conference: July 22-23, 2020
Pages 69-74
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
- Sample Population
= Gender
- Student Characteristics
= Affect
Electricity & Magnetism
- DC Circuits
- Middle School
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
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Format:
application/pdf
Mirror:
https://doi.org/10.1119/perc.2020…
Access Rights:
Free access
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This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the published article's author(s), title, proceedings citation, and DOI.
Rights Holder:
American Association of Physics Teachers
DOI:
10.1119/perc.2020.pr.Burde
Keyword:
PERC 2020
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created August 27, 2020 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
August 28, 2020 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
September 1, 2020
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Record Link
AIP Format
J. Burde, T. Wilhelm, M. Hopf, L. Ivanjek, T. Schubatzky, C. Haagen-Schützenhöfer, L. Dopatka, and V. Spatz, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2020, Virtual Conference, 2020, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15461&DocID=5309).
AJP/PRST-PER
J. Burde, T. Wilhelm, M. Hopf, L. Ivanjek, T. Schubatzky, C. Haagen-Schützenhöfer, L. Dopatka, and V. Spatz, Evaluating secondary school students’ interest and conceptual understanding of circuits, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2020, Virtual Conference, 2020, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15461&DocID=5309>.
APA Format
Burde, J., Wilhelm, T., Hopf, M., Ivanjek, L., Schubatzky, T., Haagen-Schützenhöfer, C., Dopatka, L., & Spatz, V. (2020, July 22-23). Evaluating secondary school students’ interest and conceptual understanding of circuits. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2020, Virtual Conference. Retrieved October 23, 2020, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15461&DocID=5309
Chicago Format
Burde, J, T. Wilhelm, M. Hopf, L. Ivanjek, T. Schubatzky, C. Haagen-Schützenhöfer, L. Dopatka, and V. Spatz. "Evaluating secondary school students’ interest and conceptual understanding of circuits." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2020, Virtual Conference, July 22-23, 2020. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15461&DocID=5309 (accessed 23 October 2020).
MLA Format
Burde, Jan-Philipp, Thomas Wilhelm, Martin Hopf, Lana Ivanjek, Thomas Schubatzky, Claudia Haagen-Schützenhöfer, Liza Dopatka, and Verena Spatz. "Evaluating secondary school students’ interest and conceptual understanding of circuits." Physics Education Research Conference 2020. Virtual Conference: 2020. 69-74 of PER Conference. 23 Oct. 2020 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15461&DocID=5309>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Jan-Philipp Burde and Thomas Wilhelm and Martin Hopf and Lana Ivanjek and Thomas Schubatzky and Claudia Haagen-Schützenhöfer and Liza Dopatka and Verena Spatz", Title = {Evaluating secondary school students’ interest and conceptual understanding of circuits}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2020}, Pages = {69-74}, Address = {Virtual Conference}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {July 22-23}, Year = {2020} }
Refer Export Format

%A Jan-Philipp Burde
%A Thomas Wilhelm
%A Martin Hopf
%A Lana Ivanjek
%A Thomas Schubatzky
%A Claudia Haagen-Schützenhöfer
%A Liza Dopatka
%A Verena Spatz
%T Evaluating secondary school students' interest and conceptual understanding of circuits
%S PER Conference
%D July 22-23 2020
%P 69-74
%C Virtual Conference
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15461&DocID=5309
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2020
%O July 22-23
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Burde, Jan-Philipp
%A Wilhelm, Thomas
%A Hopf, Martin
%A Ivanjek, Lana
%A Schubatzky, Thomas
%A Haagen-Schützenhöfer, Claudia
%A Dopatka, Liza
%A Spatz, Verena
%D July 22-23 2020
%T Evaluating secondary school students' interest and conceptual understanding of circuits
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2020
%C Virtual Conference
%P 69-74
%S PER Conference
%8 July 22-23
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15461&DocID=5309


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