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PERC 2008 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: An Investigation of the Concept of Vectors with College Students in Mexico
Abstract: It has been reported that students lack conceptual understanding of vectors and consequently have difficulties performing basic operations needed in the physics curriculum. We report results of a study of conceptual understanding of vectors among college students in their first physics course in a large private university in Mexico. Students in this institution have conceptual difficulties similar to those of American students, such as identifying magnitude and direction of a vector and performing vector addition. Furthermore, Mexican students have difficulties with the multiplication of a vector by a scalar and more advanced addition/subtraction operations using that product operation even after instruction in which vectors were part of the course curriculum. This report includes a discussion of implications for instruction, preliminary results of the development of a worksheet as instructional strategy and the diagnostic test used in the study.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Genaro Zavala
Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Monterrey
E. Garza Sada 2501
Monterrey, Non U.S. 64849
Phone: 528181048444
and Co-Presenter(s)
Christian A. Moran, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Monterrey