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Mathematical needs in the physics classroom

Resource type
Thesis type
((Thesis) (Education) ) M.Sc.
Date created
This study focuses on the physics teachers’ views on the difficulties students have in physics that are mathematical in nature. While research in physics education attends to these difficulties, it does not attend to the teachers’ voices in identifying and handling these difficulties. Nine physics teachers, currently teaching at the high school level in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada, participated in my study. I designed two questionnaires that inquired into my participants’ perspectives on the mathematical issues their students face in their physics classes, and possible remedies to overcome the identified problems. The results echo previous research in identifying the areas of difficulty (e.g., fractions, trigonometry), and add particular examples of problems that hinder students’ success. Furthermore, the results reveal that the most common resolution to mathematical difficulties in the physics classroom is to value the understanding of mathematical processes rather than memorizing an algorithm and number crunching.
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Copyright is held by the author.
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Zazkis, Rina
Member of collection
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etd9446_PKhalili.pdf 1.6 MB

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