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Abstract Title: Incorporating experiments into epistemology: Views from introductory-level to PhD students
Abstract: In order to better understand the impact of lab courses on students' epistemological views, there is a need for a broad view of epistemology that incorporates experiments and evidence into discussions about the structure, methodology, and validity of scientific knowledge. An epistemological framework incorporating these features guided the development of an open-ended survey, which was administered to students in algebra-based introductory physics courses through PhD students in physics. Several emergent themes distinguish introductory and upper-level students.  Regarding students' views about the role of experiments in physics classes, many intro-level students see experiments as supplemental ways to understanding abstract concepts while upper-level students see experiments as opportunities to emphasize the experimental nature of physics and develop scientific abilities. Regarding validity of experimental results, many students justify the validity of results through their agreement with idealized models rather than by repeatability of results or uncertainty justifications.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Dehui Hu
Rochester Institute of Technology
84 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623
Phone: 785-317-8073
and Co-Presenter(s)
Benjamin M. Zwickl,
Rochester Institute of Technology