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PERC 2011 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Adapting a Theoretical Framework for Characterizing Students' Use of Equations in Physics Problem Solving
Abstract: Studies tend to focus on the resources that students' activate and utilize while solving a given physics problem. However, few studies explore how students relate a given resource such as an equation, to various types of physics problems and contexts and they ascertain the meaning and applicability of that resource. We explore how students view physics equations, derive meaning from those equations, and use those equations in physics problem solving. We adapt Dubinsky and McDonald's description of APOS (action-process-object-schema) theory of learning in mathematics, to construct a theoretical framework that describes how students interpret and use equations in physics in terms of actions, processes, objects, and schemas. This framework provides a lens of how students construct their understanding of physics concepts and their relation to equations. We highlight how APOS theory can be operationalized to serve as a lens for studying the use of mathematics in physics problem solving.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Carina M. Rebello
University of Missouri
MU Science Education Center
321-O Townsend Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
and Co-Presenter(s)
N. Sanjay Rebello, Kansas State University