Conceptual Change in Physics

Authored by: David E. Brown , David Hammer

International Handbook of Research on Conceptual Change

Print publication date:  June  2013
Online publication date:  July  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415898829
eBook ISBN: 9780203154472
Adobe ISBN: 9781136578212

10.4324/9780203154472.ch6

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Abstract

Research on learning in physics has clearly established phenomena, often referred to as “misconceptions,” of students showing conceptual difficulties with the most basic ideas, often in spite of substantial instruction (Champagne, Klopfer, & Anderson, 1980; Clement, 1982; Halloun & Hestenes, 1985; McCloskey, 1983; Peters, 1981; Posner, Strike, Hewson, & Gertzog, 1982; Trowbridge & McDermott, 1980; Viennot, 1979; Whitaker, 1983). There is widespread agreement on the following points.

Many questions, phrased in a qualitative or “conceptual” way, remain difficult for students despite ample related instruction, including students who can solve standard, quantitative textbook questions about the same topics.

Incorrect answers to these questions tend to cluster into a small number of alternatives.

Students often show confidence in their incorrect answers.

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