Session S21: Physics Education and Outreach

2:30 PM–4:06 PM, Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Colorado Convention Center Room: 106

Sponsoring Unit: FEd
Chair: Margaret McMahan, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Abstract ID: BAPS.2007.MAR.S21.7

Abstract: S21.00007 : Correlating students' beliefs about physics with learning, retention, and recruitment

3:42 PM–3:54 PM

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  Katherine K. Perkins
  Wendy K. Adams
  Mindy Gratny
  Steven J. Pollock
  Carl E. Wieman
    (University of Colorado at Boulder)

We have developed and used a new survey instrument -- the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS)$^{1}$-- to extensively study the importance of students' beliefs about physics and about learning physics to physics education. Since Fall 2003, we have surveyed over 10000 students in 50 physics courses ranging from courses for non-science majors to graduate courses in physics. In this talk, we will present the important, and sometimes surprising, results emerging from this study regarding the relationships between students' beliefs about physics and learning physics and: their conceptual learning, their interest in and pursuit of science study, and classroom teaching practices$^{2}$. 1. W.K. Adams, K.K. Perkins, N. Podolefsky, M. Dubson, N.D. Finkelstein and C.E. Wieman, ``A new instrument for measuring student beliefs about physics and learning physics: the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey'', Phys. Rev ST: Phys. Educ. Res. 2, 1, 010101 (2006). 2. See \underline {} for relevant papers.

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