Pre-service Physics Teachers' Understanding of the Relational Structure of Physics Concepts: Organising Subject Content for Purposes of Teaching

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Good conceptual understanding of physics is based on understanding what the key concepts are and how they are related. This kind of understanding is especially important for physics teachers in planning how and in what order to introduce concepts in teaching; connections which tie concepts to each other give direction of progress — there is “flux of information” so that what was learned before provides the basis for learning new ideas. In this study, we discuss how such ordering of concepts can be made visible by using concept maps and how they can be used in analysing the students’ views and ideas about the inherent logic of the teaching plans. The approach discussed here is informed by the recent cognitively oriented ideas of knowledge organisation concentrating on simple knowledge organisation patterns and how they form the basis of more complex concept networks. The analysis of such concept networks is then very naturally based on the use of network theory on analysing the concept maps. The results show that even in well-connected maps, there can be abrupt changes in the information flux in the way knowledge is passed from the initial levels to the final levels. This suggests that handling the information content is very demanding and perhaps a very difficult skill for a pre-service teacher to master.
TidskriftInternational Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
Sidor (från-till)325-357
Antal sidor33
StatusPublicerad - 2013
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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