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Putting physics knowledge in the hot seat: The semantics of student understandings of thermodynamics

Chapter


Abstract


  • The study of students' ideas dominates efforts in science education research.

    Across the sciences and for all educational stages, more sophisticated

    approaches and methodologies have been developed which have helped

    result in improved instructional practices. Despite these significant developments, several fundamental issues remain underexplored, including questions surrounding the very nature of students' ideas, how they develop, and

    the values that should (or should not) be placed on them. Physics Education Research (PER) can be considered a specialism within the science

    education research agenda, comprising a relatively small but concerted initiative

    to support findings with theory in the hope of resolving these persistent

    issues. Mostly, theoretical frameworks utilized in PER have been based

    on cognitive science and aim to characterize the learning process, or what

    Maton (2014b) refers to as 'knowing'. This chapter instead turns the focus

    onto 'knowledge as an object' by looking at student ideas through the

    enactment of Legitimation Code Theory (LCT). In the first part of

    the chapter, limitations of current research on student ideas are discussed in the

    context of science education research. To illustrate the value of LCT as an

    potentially complementary approach, the chapter reports on a study conducted in a thermodynamics module in first year undergraduate physics

    which enacts the concept of ‘semantic gravity' in analyses of student

    responses. Through this exemplar, the chapter illustrates how enacting LCT

    overcomes many limitations of existing studies to procure novel insights

    into the nature of student understanding.

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Georgiou, H. (2016). Putting physics knowledge in the hot seat: The semantics of student understandings of thermodynamics. In K. Maton, S. Hood & S. Shay (Eds.), Knowledge-building: Educational studies in Legitimation Code Theory (pp. 176-192). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/2551

Book Title


  • Knowledge-building: Educational studies in Legitimation Code Theory

Start Page


  • 176

End Page


  • 192

Abstract


  • The study of students' ideas dominates efforts in science education research.

    Across the sciences and for all educational stages, more sophisticated

    approaches and methodologies have been developed which have helped

    result in improved instructional practices. Despite these significant developments, several fundamental issues remain underexplored, including questions surrounding the very nature of students' ideas, how they develop, and

    the values that should (or should not) be placed on them. Physics Education Research (PER) can be considered a specialism within the science

    education research agenda, comprising a relatively small but concerted initiative

    to support findings with theory in the hope of resolving these persistent

    issues. Mostly, theoretical frameworks utilized in PER have been based

    on cognitive science and aim to characterize the learning process, or what

    Maton (2014b) refers to as 'knowing'. This chapter instead turns the focus

    onto 'knowledge as an object' by looking at student ideas through the

    enactment of Legitimation Code Theory (LCT). In the first part of

    the chapter, limitations of current research on student ideas are discussed in the

    context of science education research. To illustrate the value of LCT as an

    potentially complementary approach, the chapter reports on a study conducted in a thermodynamics module in first year undergraduate physics

    which enacts the concept of ‘semantic gravity' in analyses of student

    responses. Through this exemplar, the chapter illustrates how enacting LCT

    overcomes many limitations of existing studies to procure novel insights

    into the nature of student understanding.

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Georgiou, H. (2016). Putting physics knowledge in the hot seat: The semantics of student understandings of thermodynamics. In K. Maton, S. Hood & S. Shay (Eds.), Knowledge-building: Educational studies in Legitimation Code Theory (pp. 176-192). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/2551

Book Title


  • Knowledge-building: Educational studies in Legitimation Code Theory

Start Page


  • 176

End Page


  • 192