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PERC 2009 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Using Quantitative Demonstrations to Improve Student Understanding of Collisions
Abstract: This study identifies student models underlying the difficulties which were affected by the student na├»ve understanding of collisions. Based on the identified student models, teaching models are developed to facilitate student learning. The results of the study show that most students have difficulty in identifying the appropriate system to qualitatively interpret the principles of energy conservation in an elastic collision and the principle of momentum conservation in both elastic and inelastic collisions, due to the difficulties in visualizing the energy and momentum transfer during collisions.  The student reasoning can be grouped into three categories: correct models, incorrect models, and null models. Based on the student models, the teaching approach incorporating quantitative demonstrations has been developed to help students with their learning in the class. The study found that after this instruction, many students shift from incorrect to correct models and develop independent models consistent with the scientifically correct explanation.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Nattakit Sawadthaisong
Center for Science & Mathematics Education, College of Education , The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712
Phone: 512-471-7354
Fax: 512-471-8466
and Co-Presenter(s)
James P. Barufaldi, Center for Science and Mathematics Education, The University of Texas at Austin, TX.

Ratchapak  Chitaree, Department of Physics Faculty of Science, Institute for Innovation Development of Learning Process, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.