#### Pregled bibliografske jedinice broj: 868961

## Student understanding of graphs in physics and mathematics

Student understanding of graphs in physics and mathematics

*// International GIREP Symposium “Mathematics in Physics Education”*

Dresden, Njemačka, 2016. (plenarno, međunarodna recenzija, pp prezentacija, znanstveni)

**Naslov**

Student understanding of graphs in physics and mathematics

**Autori**

Planinić, Maja ; Sušac, Ana ; Ivanjek, Lana ; Milin-Šipuš, Željka

**Vrsta, podvrsta i kategorija rada**

Sažeci sa skupova, pp prezentacija, znanstveni

**Skup**

International GIREP Symposium “Mathematics in Physics Education”

**Mjesto i datum**

Dresden, Njemačka, 02-04.11.2016

**Vrsta sudjelovanja**

Plenarno

**Vrsta recenzije**

Međunarodna recenzija

**Ključne riječi**

graphs, kinematics, physics education, mathematics education

**Sažetak**

The ability to interpret graphs is considered to be one of the important outcomes of high school mathematics and physics courses, and is often assumed by university faculty to be fully developed by the time that students enroll in university. However, many studies have revealed deficiencies in student understanding of graphs, both at high school and university level. The results of our study on first-year university students' understanding of and reasoning about graphs across three different domains: mathematics, physics (kinematics) and contexts other than physics (economy, biology, everyday life), will be presented and discussed. A test consisting of eight sets of parallel questions from the three domains was administered to 385 first - year students at University of Zagreb, who were either prospective physics/mathematics teachers or prospective physicists. Rasch analysis was performed on the data. The analysis and comparison of item difficulties, as well as of student explanations, in different conceptual areas (graph slope, area under a graph), and in different domains (mathematics, physics, and other contexts) will be presented and discussed. The results suggest significant differences in student understanding of the concept of graph slope and area under a graph, but also differences in student approaches to problems from different domains and contexts. Mathematics was, for the students in this study, the easiest of the three domains. It appears that the addition of either physics or other context to mathematical items significantly increases difficulties of those items. Kinematics, as a specific context, was not easier for students than the other, less familiar, contexts presented in the study, although all students had previously studied physics in high school. Some common student difficulties with graphs, which were identified through the analysis of students’ answers and explanations, will be discussed. Strategies that students used were largely context and domain specific, with the use of formula being the preferred student strategy in physics, which sometimes seemed to block the use of other, more productive strategies which they displayed in other domains. Some students have shown indications of transfer of knowledge in the sense that they used techniques and strategies developed in physics for solving (or attempting to solve) other context problems. Students’ answers indicated the use of naïve reasoning, such as slope-height confusion and interval-point confusion, more often on physics, than on mathematics and other context questions. Students generally better interpreted graph slope than the area under a graph, although the concept of slope still seemed to be quite vague for many. The interpretation of the concept of area under a graph seemed to be even more difficult for students than the interpretation of graph slope and needs more attention in both physics and mathematics teaching.

**Izvorni jezik**

Engleski

**Znanstvena područja**

Matematika, Fizika, Pedagogija

**POVEZANOST RADA**

**Ustanove**

Prirodoslovno-matematički fakultet, Matematički odjel, Zagreb,

Prirodoslovno-matematički fakultet, Zagreb