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Abstract Title: Toward Understanding and Characterizing Expert Physics Covariational Reasoning
Abstract: "Physics quantitative literacy" (PQL) is a desired outcome of an introductory sequence in physics; it is characterized by the use of conceptual mathematics and the symbol system of physics for understanding, communicating, creating and applying physics models. PQL includes the mental habit of considering how a change in one quantity effects another related quantity---called "covariational reasoning" by mathematics education researchers. While significant work has been done on students' covariational reasoning by the mathematics education community, little has been done to understand how it emerges in introductory physics. Motivated by a study from Hobson and Moore (2017) on covariational reasoning by mathematicians, we present results from interviews with physics experts as they work through introductory-level problems that require them to think covariationally. The habits of mind used by expert physicists to solve these problems inform our ongoing development of a framework to characterize how covariational reasoning manifests in introductory physics.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session I
Poster Number: A64
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Charlotte Zimmerman
University of Washington
Department of Physics
Seattle, WA 98105
and Co-Presenter(s)
Alexis Olsho, University of Washington
Michael Loverude, California State University Fullerton
Andrew Boudreaux, Western Washington University
Trevor Smith, Rowan University
Suzanne White Brahmia, University of Washington

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster