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written by Lei Bao and Joseph Fritchman
Newton's third law is one of the most important concepts learned early in introductory mechanics courses; however, ample studies have documented a wide range of students' misconceptions and fragmented understandings of this concept that are difficult to change through traditional instruction. This research develops a conceptual framework model to investigate students' understanding of Newton's third law through the knowledge integration perspective. The conceptual framework is established with a central idea emphasizing forces as quantitative measures of physical interactions instead of using the common action-reaction language. Guided by the conceptual framework, assessment and interview results reveal that students' concepts of Newton's third law are fragmented without deep understanding. Specifically, three main issues within students' understanding have been identified: (i) students have a disconnect between time order of events and causal reasoning, (ii) students rely on a memorized equal-and-opposite rule to identify interaction forces, and (iii) students directly link action-reaction language to the belief in a causal relation between the interaction forces. The framework is then applied to develop a new instruction intervention that explicitly targets the central idea of Newton's third law. Results from pre- and post-testing show that the intervention is effective in helping students develop more integrated understandings of Newton's third law. Overall, this study shows the potential benefits of applying the conceptual framework method to model student knowledge structures and guide assessment and instruction for promoting knowledge integration and deep learning.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 17, Issue 2, Pages 020116
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Newton's Third Law
Education - Applied Research
- Instructional Material Design
Education - Basic Research
- Achievement
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
- Communication
= Language
- Problem Solving
= Expert-Novice Comparisons
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Types Intended Users Ratings
- Curriculum
- Curriculum / Research Instrument
- Researchers
- Administrators
- Educators
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Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.020116
NSF Number:
DUE-1712238
Keywords:
conceptual framework, force interactions, instructional design, knowledge structures, schema
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created November 10, 2021 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
January 25, 2022 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
September 7, 2021
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AIP Format
L. Bao and J. Fritchman, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 17 (2), 020116 (2021), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.020116).
AJP/PRST-PER
L. Bao and J. Fritchman, Knowledge integration in student learning of Newton’s third law: Addressing the action-reaction language and the implied causality, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 17 (2), 020116 (2021), <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.020116>.
APA Format
Bao, L., & Fritchman, J. (2021, September 7). Knowledge integration in student learning of Newton’s third law: Addressing the action-reaction language and the implied causality. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 17(2), 020116. Retrieved January 26, 2022, from https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.020116
Chicago Format
Bao, Lei, and Joseph Fritchman. "Knowledge integration in student learning of Newton’s third law: Addressing the action-reaction language and the implied causality." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 17, no. 2, (September 7, 2021): 020116, https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.020116 (accessed 26 January 2022).
MLA Format
Bao, Lei, and Joseph Fritchman. "Knowledge integration in student learning of Newton’s third law: Addressing the action-reaction language and the implied causality." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 17.2 (2021): 020116. 26 Jan. 2022 <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.020116>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Lei Bao and Joseph Fritchman", Title = {Knowledge integration in student learning of Newton’s third law: Addressing the action-reaction language and the implied causality}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {17}, Number = {2}, Pages = {020116}, Month = {September}, Year = {2021} }
Refer Export Format

%A Lei Bao %A Joseph Fritchman %T Knowledge integration in student learning of Newton's third law: Addressing the action-reaction language and the implied causality %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 17 %N 2 %D September 7, 2021 %P 020116 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.020116 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Bao, Lei %A Fritchman, Joseph %D September 7, 2021 %T Knowledge integration in student learning of Newton's third law: Addressing the action-reaction language and the implied causality %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 17 %N 2 %P 020116 %8 September 7, 2021 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.020116


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