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Changing the Way Students Learn in Physics Gateway Courses


Changing the Way Students Learn in Physics Gateway Courses

Huang, Xiang (2012) Changing the Way Students Learn in Physics Gateway Courses. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Under the umbrella of physics educational research, scholars are looking at teaching physics using different methods: philosophy of science, epistemology, or hermeneutics. In each approach it is found that it is essential to create a constructive teaching and learning environment for students to learn actively. When students’ ways of acquiring knowledge change from being conveyed by authority to constructing their own understanding, their role changes from being a passive acceptor to being a more active constructor.
Research shows that only helping students to change from their personal views of concepts to scientific conceptions is not enough and does not contribute much to students’ science learning. To develop a scientific mindset in science courses also requires a change in attitude from a view that study in science is a matter of solving problems using an independent set of tools, classified according to problem type, to a view that a science subject consists of a web of interconnected concepts. Elby pointed out that students’ epistemological beliefs in physics will affect how they approach physics courses. This means that we need a more holistic theory to focus not only on subject content, but also on students’ scientific reasoning and epistemological beliefs.
In this dissertation, a set of activities is applied in Physics gateway courses to create a constructive environment. Through these activities we hope to help students to gradually become aware of a constructive procedure of learning. The effectiveness of these activities is examined in terms of helping students change their ways of learning and epistemological beliefs.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Physics
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Huang, Xiang
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Date:April 2012
Thesis Supervisor(s):Kalman, Calvin
ID Code:973778
Deposited By: XIANG HUANG
Deposited On:20 Jun 2012 19:45
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:37
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