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Abstract Title: Path analysis of causal factors on conceptual learning in introductory physics
Abstract: Among the variables that can purportedly exert causal influences on student conceptual gains in introductory physics are two important factors: scientific reasoning and epistemology. Prior research on this topic, although increasingly well-received, relied mostly on correlation analysis or case studies to indirectly allude to the possible causality. Besides, these factors thus far have only been investigated individually, lacking empirical evidence for their collective impact on student conceptual learning. In this study, we conducted a path analysis to directly and collectively examine the causal effects of scientific reasoning and epistemology on student conceptual learning in physics (measured respectively by the Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning, Colorado Learning Attitudes Survey about Science, and the Force Concept Inventory). Our results revealed strong causal influences of students' pre-instructional reasoning skills and epistemologies on their conceptual gains. Nonetheless, students' post-epistemologies showed little effect on conceptual gains.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Lin Ding
Department of Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University
1945 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: 614-688-8377

Contributed Paper

Contributed Paper: Download the Contributed Paper