Unexpected attitudinal growth in a course combining reformed curricula

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Abstract

In this paper, we show data from the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey that suggests that Georgetown physics majors become increasingly expert in their attitudes towards physics learning and knowing after taking a course that combines two reformed curricula, Matter and Interactions (M&I) and Tutorials in Introductory Physics (TIPs). This occurs even though the two curricula do not send a consistent epistemological message to students. We analyze interview video data of two of these students to illustrate examples of this growth. We examine video data of one of these students in a tutorial session to describe a possible mechanism that may have contributed to the growth. Finally, we compare this qualitative video data with quantitative data from the newly developed Perceptions of Physics Classes survey and discuss aggregate responses to this survey in considering the ways in which other students developed more expertlike attitudes in this course. We conclude that the attitudinal growth observed cannot be explained simply " as the result of " either M&I or of TIPs but rather find the most plausible explanation to be that the growth is an emergent phenomena produced by M&I and TIPs working together in concert with other factors.

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Hull, M. M., Lindsey, B. A., Archambault, M., Davey, K., & Liu, A. Y. (2016). Unexpected attitudinal growth in a course combining reformed curricula. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.12.010101

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