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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The study of students attitudes and approaches to learning in an introductory physics course
by Watanabe, Erick James, M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2016, 49; 10144821
Abstract (Summary)

This study tracks the shifts in attitudes of students in a large, entry level physics course at CSU Long Beach (PHYS 151 - Mechanics and Heat). Intriguing differences in attitude shifts of A, B, and C students are observed using the CLASS (Colorado Learning about Science Survey) instrument. The CLASS is a tool designed to measure the attitudes and approaches used in physics. The survey is used to measure experts and novices in the field. Expert and novice-like beliefs are calculated for the A, B, and C students. We found that the Problem Solving Sophistication category had the most differences in students’ responses between A and C students. With A students having had three expert shifts (moving toward expert-like beliefs) and no novice shifts in this category, and C students having six novice shifts (moving toward novice-like beliefs). An ANOVA test and a t-test were performed to ensure the data was significant. One category emerged as being statistically significant, the Problem Solving Sophistication Unfavorable score, with a p-value of 0.039 when comparing the A and C students, and a p-value of 0.044 when the A and B students are grouped together and compared to the C students. With the t-test findings this infers that the C students are missing something that the A and B students are not. The intriguing question for further study is: can the C students be turned into A-B students by explicit pedagogy and curriculum aimed at transmitting both content and attitudes?

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pickett, Galen T.
Commitee: Gredig, Thomas, Kisiel, Jim
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Physics and Astronomy
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 56/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Physics, Science education
Keywords: Class, Learning, Problem solving
Publication Number: 10144821
ISBN: 978-1-369-00401-4
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