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The Effects of Developing Kinematics Concepts Graphically Prior to Introducing Algebraic



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Effects of Graphing First 0 Brief version For each investigator s complete field trial report see the long version in pdf The Effects of Developing Kinematics Concepts Graphically Prior to Introducing Algebraic Problem Solving Techniques James Archambault Theresa Burch Michael Crofton Angela McClure Principal Investigator Dr Robert Culbertson Arizona State University Action Research required for the Master of Natural Science degree with concentration in physics July 2008 Abstract Kinematics concepts in physics have been modeled algebraically graphically and with motion maps However the investigators have noticed that despite the many representations available to them students show a strong preference for solving kinematic problems algebraically Students were required to solve kinematics problems exclusively utilizing graphical representations prior to being introduced to methods of algebraic solutions Results indicate that students who received the treatment chose graphical methods for solving kinematics problems more frequently and demonstrated stronger gains in understanding kinematics concepts overall than those students who did not receive the treatment Rationale Kinematics the study of motion is amongst the first topics introduced in most introductory physics classrooms throughout this country because the major ideas in these units position velocity and acceleration are incorporated into almost all other topics in physics Without a solid understanding of these important concepts students lack the foundation necessary to succeed as physical concepts become more abstract and more complicated to model mathematically Because of the fundamental nature of kinematics in the whole of physics any improvement in student understanding of these concepts creates the possibility of an improved understanding of almost all of the rest of the physics concepts that students will encounter throughout the year This study attempted to improve conceptual understanding of kinematics



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