Jan 25, 2018 4:00 pm - Nielsen Hall 170 - Colloquium
Daniel White - Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo
Conceptual Hierarchies in Learning About Force and Motion

Newton’s Laws are foundational topics in physics.  They are often among the first topics physics students learn, and they are vital for understanding other important concepts and solving a wide variety of problems.  An integral part of teaching and learning physics is therefore addressing common misconceptions about forces and motion.  However, there is some evidence that the order in which students learn some relationships may affect their overall understanding of those relationships.  I will present some of my work that suggests certain conceptual hierarchies exist for students learning about the relationships between net force, velocity, and acceleration and that simple training examples can help students progress through those hierarchies.