id: 06460751
dt: j
an: 2015d.00157
au: Karam, Ricardo; Krey, Olaf
ti: {\it Quod erat demonstrandum}: understanding and explaining equations in
physics teacher education.
so: Sci. Educ. (Dordrecht) 24, No. 5-6, 661-698 (2015).
py: 2015
pu: Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht
la: EN
cc: C29 D39 M59
ut: equations; modeling; mathematics and physics; teacher education;
students’ views; role of mathematics in physics
ci:
li: doi:10.1007/s11191-015-9743-0
ab: Summary: In physics education, equations are commonly seen as calculation
tools to solve problems or as concise descriptions of experimental
regularities. In physical science, however, equations often play a much
more important role associated with the formulation of theories to
provide explanations for physical phenomena. In order to overcome this
inconsistency, one crucial step is to improve physics teacher
education. In this work, we describe the structure of a course that was
given to physics teacher students at the end of their master’s degree
in two European universities. The course had two main goals: (1) To
investigate the complex interplay between physics and mathematics from
a historical and philosophical perspective and (2) To expand
students’ repertoire of explanations regarding possible ways to
derive certain school-relevant equations. A qualitative analysis on a
case study basis was conducted to investigate the learning outcomes of
the course. Here, we focus on the comparative analysis of two students
who had considerably different views of the math-physics interplay in
the beginning of the course. Our general results point to important
changes on some of the students’ views on the role of mathematics in
physics, an increase in the participants’ awareness of the
difficulties faced by learners to understand physics equations and a
broadening in the students’ repertoire to answer “Why?" questions
formulated to equations. Based on this analysis, further implications
for physics teacher education are derived.
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