Surveying Turkish high school and university students' attitudes and approaches to physics problem solving

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Abstract

Students' attitudes and approaches to physics problem solving can impact how well they learn physics and how successful they are in solving physics problems. Prior research in the U.S. using a validated Attitude and Approaches to Problem Solving (AAPS) survey suggests that there are major differences between students in introductory physics and astronomy courses and physics experts in terms of their attitudes and approaches to physics problem solving. Here we discuss the validation, administration, and analysis of data for the Turkish version of the AAPS survey for high school and university students in Turkey. After the validation and administration of the Turkish version of the survey, the analysis of the data was conducted by grouping the data by grade level, school type, and gender. While there are no statistically significant differences between the averages of various groups on the survey, overall, the university students in Turkey were more expertlike than vocational high school students. On an item by item basis, there are statistically differences between the averages of the groups on many items. For example, on average, the university students demonstrated less expertlike attitudes about the role of equations and formulas in problem solving, in solving difficult problems, and in knowing when the solution is not correct, whereas they displayed more expertlike attitudes and approaches on items related to metacognition in physics problem solving. A principal component analysis on the data yields item clusters into which the student responses on various survey items can be grouped. A comparison of the responses of the Turkish and American university students enrolled in algebra-based introductory physics courses shows that on more than half of the items, the responses of these two groups were statistically significantly different, with the U.S. students on average responding to the items in a more expertlike manner.

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APA

Balta, N., Mason, A. J., & Singh, C. (2016). Surveying Turkish high school and university students’ attitudes and approaches to physics problem solving. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.12.010129

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