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PERC 2011 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Scaffolding students’ transfer of problem solving from calculus to physics
Abstract: Differentiation and integration are very powerful mathematical tools widely used in calculus-based introductory physics. Students are expected to have the prerequisite mathematical skills to solve physics problems. However, research shows that students encounter several difficulties when transferring calculus knowledge to physics problem solving. Based on the knowledge of the difficulties students encountered with the use of differentiation and integration in physics from previous studies, we are developing instructional materials aimed at facilitating students to address these difficulties in several topics in introductory physics. We have implemented these materials in group problem solving sessions aimed at enabling students to construct and apply the mathematical concepts of tangent lines, slope, Riemann sum, integration and approximation in physics contexts. We discuss the development of our instructional materials and students' ability to transfer the concepts to new types of problems after our group problem solving sessions.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Dehui Hu
Physics Department, Kansas State University
116 Cardwell Hall, Department of Physics
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-2601
Phone: 7853178073
and Co-Presenter(s)
Joshua Von Korff (Physics Department, Kansas State University)

N. Sanjay Rebello (Physics Department, Kansas State University)