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Abstract Title: Using disciplinary perspectives to refine conceptions of the “real-world”
Abstract: It has been reported that students often leave the introductory physics classroom believing that physics is less connected to the real-world than when they entered. In this poster we consider students' experiences in an introductory studio physics for the life-sciences course aimed at leveraging students'  disciplinary expertise in biology and chemistry as they learn physics. Through a set of interviews with life-science students we probed the role of physics in their lives and analyzed student statements based on categories of items from attitudinal measures in PER related to connecting physics to students' lives. We find that our life-science students' connections rarely align with conceptions of "everyday life" or the "real-world" as represented by these survey items. We argue that the "real-world" as presented by survey items is limited in accurately probing the ways these students connect physics to what they experience outside of the physics classroom.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Abhilash Nair
Michigan State University
5510 Timberlane St. Apt. D2
East Lansing, MI 48823
Phone: 847-636-3007
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Paul Irving (Michigan State University)
Vashti Sawtelle (Michigan State University)