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Abstract Title: Using categorization task to improve expertise in introductory physics
Abstract: The ability to categorize problems based upon underlying principles, rather than surface features or contexts, is considered one of several proxy predictors of expertise. Giving students categorization task and then discussing experts' ways of categorizing problems can be used to help students develop expertise in physics and help them focus on deep features of problems. Inspired by the classic study of Chi, Feltovich, and Glaser [1], we revisited categorization study in large introductory physics classes.  Some problems in the categorization task posed to students included those available from the prior study by Chi et al. Our findings, which contrast from those of Chi et al., suggest that there is a much wider distribution of expertise in mechanics among introductory students than previously believed.  Implications for pedagogical interventions will be discussed.
[1] M.T.H. Chi, P. J. Feltovich, and R. Glaser, Categorization and representation of physics knowledge by experts and novices. Cognitive Science, 5, 121-152 (1981).
Abstract Type: Symposium Poster
Targeted Session: Facilitating thinking and learning in physics classrooms

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Andrew Mason
University of Central Arkansas
and Co-Presenter(s)
Chandralekha Singh, University of Pittsburgh

Invited Presentation

Invited Presentation: Download the Invited Presentation