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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The design of an instructional model to transform students' alternate framework of dynamics Brace, Garry Richard


This study concerns the design and implementation of an instructional model that was intended to explicate students' alternate conceptions of dynamics and transform them into a conceptual set which more closely approximates Newtonian conceptions of dynamics. The design of this instructional model has employed Frame Theory as the basis for the development of an analytical clue structure that was used to describe students' alternate conceptions of dynamics and track any changes to these conceptions as the lesson sequence progressed. In addition, this instructional model has attempted to utilize discordant event demonstrations as the catalyst required to initiate transformations of the alternate conceptions of dynamics held by students. Data for this study have been collected within an operational science classroom by video taping a series of lessons that dealt with the dynamics of linear acceleration and deceleration, and uniform motion. These data were subsequently reduced to lesson transcripts which were then analyzed, using the clue structure, for student conceptual data. These data were then reconstructed into conceptual frames that represented individual and collective student interpretations of force/motion events both before and after the demonstration of the discordant events. 'Before and after' comparisons were then made of these frames in order to determine if any conceptual transformation had occurred. Results from this study have indicated that a majority of students that took an active role in these classes explained the motion of objects, both before and after instruction, using a 'motion implies a force' set of conceptions. This study also found that the explication and representation of student conceptions of dynamics could be successfully accomplished by using the analytical clue structure to reconstruct transcript data into student interpretational frames of motion. Comparisons of the interpretational frames that students were employing before the demonstration of specific, discordant events with those frames that were being employed after these events indicated that use of discordant events to initiate conceptual transformation was only minimally successful.

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