Can you understand physics without sketching pictures

Al-Hail, Hanan (2005) Can you understand physics without sketching pictures. MSc(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This study presents data showing some of the problems that students in Qatari high school (age- 16-18) encountered when learning about forces electricity and magnetism. Then suggest ways by which the situation might be improved. The second aim is to explore whether the visual spatial ability is important to achieve better in physics or not. At the first stage, the data have been collected through three surveys. These were applied in Qatar using students enrolled in secondary schools: first, second and third year students (age 16-18). The surveys reflected the syllabuses at each level, covering the specific physics topics relevant to each year group. The sample was 542 students from five schools. The topics which seemed to be causing the greatest problems were matter and its mechanical characteristics, particularly fluid pressure, Pascal's principle, Archimedes's principle and the electric energy and electric power topics were perceived as difficult by the students, in the first year. In the second year group the topics that were noted as difficult were mechanics (Newton's laws & stability), gravitational force and its field, electric potential and capacity, dielectric constant, impulse-momentum theorem and conservation of momentum At the second part of first stage of this study, following from the result of the first part two tests were conducted to examine students understanding and misconception in particular topics. This was conducted by using communication structural grids, open- ended question and some problems. The first test was given to 242 first year students in three high schools, and the second test was conducted using 153 students of second year in five high schools. From the result obtained it was found that students in both year one and two in Qatar high schools had difficulty understanding the basic concepts such as density, mass, weight, force, acceleration and pressure. There was another misunderstanding that appeared. Students could solve formula in general state but when it was given to them in different ways they could not give a correct answer. To attain the second aim to investigate the visual spatial ability in relation to achievement in physics, an individual paper-and-pencil test was designed for the first and second years of Qatari high school to measure the visual-spatial ability in the context of physics. The participants were the same as in the difficulties test. The results suggest that in both groups there were significant positives correlations between visual spatial performance and performance in physics.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: Norman Reid
Keywords: Science education
Date of Award: 2005
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2005-74102
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/74102

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