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PERC 2018 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: High School Students’ Representations and Understandings of Electric Fields
Abstract: This study investigates the representations and understandings of electric fields expressed by Chinese high school students 15 to 16 years old who have not received high school level physics instruction. We explore students' ideas of electric fields preinstruction as shown by students' representations produced in open-ended activities. 92 participant students completed a worksheet drawing comic strips about electric charges as characters of a cartoon series. Three students were interviewed individually after class. We identified nine ideas related to electric fields that these three students spontaneously leveraged in the comic strip activity. As most research in the literature has understood students as having relatively fixed conceptions and mostly identified divergences in those conceptions from canonical targets, this study shows students' reasoning to be more variable in particular moments, and that variability includes common sense resources that can be productive for learning about electric fields.
Abstract Type: Symposium Poster
Parallel Session: Identifying Conceptual Resources for Understanding Physics
Session Time: Parallel Sessions Cluster II

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Ying Cao
Drury University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Bárbara M. Brizuela, Tufts University