TITLE

Using photographs to elicit student ideas about physics: The case of an unusual liquid-level phenomenon

AUTHOR(S)
Erceg, Nataša; Aviani, Ivica; Mešić, Vanes
PUB. DATE
January 2014
SOURCE
Canadian Journal of Physics;Jan2014, Vol. 92 Issue 1, p9
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This work is aimed at exploring some pedagogical opportunities of using photographs in physics instruction. In our study, the photography has been used for eliciting and probing students' ideas regarding the physics of fluids in noninertial frames of reference and under conditions of equilibrium. The study involved a heterogeneous sample of 235 secondary school students, 41 physics students, and 48 physics teachers. They were presented with a photograph of a wine glass filled with liquid whose surface appeared inclined. The students were asked to comment on the reality of the phenomenon captured in the photograph, and the teachers were asked to predict the students' responses. The results showed that about half of the students had a complete or partially complete understanding of the physical ideas and that their practical and conceptual knowledge was not dependent on their education level or curriculum followed. Most of the respondents found the task interesting and relevant. The results indicate that the teachers' expectations regarding students' understanding of physics often significantly depart from reality. We suggest that physics teachers include some photography-based problems and discussions in their classes. This could encourage a broad participation of students with different levels of abilities.
ACCESSION #
93433850

 

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