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Physical Review Physics Education Research
written by Lisa M. Goodhew, Amy D. Robertson, Paula R. L. Heron, and Rachel E. Scherr
Much of the literature contributing to physics instructors' knowledge of student ideas (KSI) reports common patterns of reasoning that are framed as discontinuous with canonical concepts. Our work contributes new KSI about mechanical wave propagation from a resources perspective, framing student thinking in terms of context-sensitive pieces of knowledge that are continuous with canonical physics concepts. The intent of this work is to inform instruction on mechanical waves by identifying and illustrating some of the conceptual resources that instructors might expect their students to use. To support instructor predictions about student thinking, we identify resources that are common across multiple samples and questions. Our data include written responses to three versions of a conceptual question about mechanical pulse propagation. We use an emergent coding scheme to characterize a total of 851 written responses from 6 universities in the United States. Our analysis reveals three common conceptual resources: (i) properties of the medium either impede or facilitate the motion of the pulse, (ii) the speed or duration of transverse motion affects pulse speed, and (iii) the speed of the pulse is affected by its kinetic energy. We show how each of these resources can be viewed as continuous with formal understandings of pulse propagation.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 020127
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Alternative Conceptions
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
- Learning Theory
- Student Characteristics
= Ability
= Skills
Oscillations & Waves
- Wave Motion
= Transverse Pulses and Waves
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Educators
- Professional/Practitioners
- Administrators
- Researchers
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application/pdf
text/html
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.15.020127
NSF Numbers:
DUE-1608510
DUE-1608221
DGE-1256082
Keywords:
Constructivism, Resources Theory, mental models, schema, sense making, transverse waves, wave on a string
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created May 17, 2023 by Sam McKagan
Record Updated:
May 18, 2023 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
September 19, 2019
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Record Link
AIP Format
L. Goodhew, A. Robertson, P. Heron, and R. Scherr, , Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15 (2), 020127 (2019), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1103/physrevphyseducres.15.020127).
AJP/PRST-PER
L. Goodhew, A. Robertson, P. Heron, and R. Scherr, Student conceptual resources for understanding mechanical wave propagation, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15 (2), 020127 (2019), <https://doi.org/10.1103/physrevphyseducres.15.020127>.
APA Format
Goodhew, L., Robertson, A., Heron, P., & Scherr, R. (2019, September 19). Student conceptual resources for understanding mechanical wave propagation. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 15(2), 020127. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1103/physrevphyseducres.15.020127
Chicago Format
Goodhew, L, A. Robertson, P. Heron, and R. Scherr. "Student conceptual resources for understanding mechanical wave propagation." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15, no. 2, (September 19, 2019): 020127, https://doi.org/10.1103/physrevphyseducres.15.020127 (accessed 23 June 2024).
MLA Format
Goodhew, Lisa M., Amy Robertson, Paula R. L. Heron, and Rachel Scherr. "Student conceptual resources for understanding mechanical wave propagation." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15.2 (2019): 020127. 23 June 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1103/physrevphyseducres.15.020127>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Lisa M. Goodhew and Amy Robertson and Paula R. L. Heron and Rachel Scherr", Title = {Student conceptual resources for understanding mechanical wave propagation}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {15}, Number = {2}, Pages = {020127}, Month = {September}, Year = {2019} }
Refer Export Format

%A Lisa M. Goodhew %A Amy Robertson %A Paula R. L. Heron %A Rachel Scherr %T Student conceptual resources for understanding mechanical wave propagation %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 15 %N 2 %D September 19, 2019 %P 020127 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/physrevphyseducres.15.020127 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Goodhew, Lisa M. %A Robertson, Amy %A Heron, Paula R. L. %A Scherr, Rachel %D September 19, 2019 %T Student conceptual resources for understanding mechanical wave propagation %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 15 %N 2 %P 020127 %8 September 19, 2019 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/physrevphyseducres.15.020127


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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The AJP/PRST-PER presented is based on the AIP Style with the addition of journal article titles and conference proceeding article titles.

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Student conceptual resources for understanding mechanical wave propagation:

Is Associated With Student conceptual resources for understanding mechanical wave propagation

A link to a companion article in the 2017 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings, in which the same authors present preliminary findings of this study.

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