The role of mathematics in the teaching and learning of physics

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This paper discusses the role of mathematics in physics teaching andlearning. The intention and strength of science is to describe what happens in the realworld by organizing explanations through theories and theoretical models. It has beenwidely suggested that learning in science is influenced by views about the nature ofscientific knowledge. Furthermore, mathematics is an inherent part of theories andmakes powerful predictions of natural phenomena possible. Ability to use mathematicsto argue and prove results is central in physics. Students have been found tostruggle with physics problems where they need to relate mathematically formulatedtheoretical models to the real world. This project has explored the role of mathematicsfor physics teaching and learning in upper-secondary school through investigations ofrelations made during physics lessons (lectures, problem solving and lab-work)between The real world – Theoretical models – Mathematics. A preliminary analysisindicate that there are some connections made by students and teacher betweentheories and the real world, but the bulk of the discussion in the classroom is concerningthe relation between theoretical models and mathematics, which is in linewith earlier research on problem solving. The preliminary results reported on hereindicate that this also holds true for all the investigated organisational forms lectures,problem solving in groups and lab-work. A finalized and extended analysis will bepublished elsewhere.

Antal sidor7
StatusPublicerad - 2014
EvenemangThe ESERA 2013 conference -
Varaktighet: 1980-jan.-01 → …


KonferensThe ESERA 2013 conference
Period80-01-01 → …

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