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Projects

Conceptual Development

Argumentation in Physics

Argumentation and Physics Learning

Recent theoretical assumptions claim that discourse and epistemic argument are of importance not only for the development of scientific theories but also for students' learning of the specific subject. Even though an increasing number of research projects in Germany have focused on the nature of science or the epistemic structure of discourse in physics education it has rarely been investigated how such processes interrelate with students' development of physics knowledge. Therefore, this project aims at investigating how epistemic argumentation can promote students' understanding of physics and, conversely, how students' situated physics competencies limit their epistemic argument.

Research is conducted in two phases. First, instruction focusing on both epistemic argument and students' learning of physics is developed. Videoing of students working in groups with the teaching material provides the database for the evaluation of epistemic discourse and cognitive dynamics. Second, instruction is revised according to results of the first phase. Furthermore, the revised instruction will be used in physics teaching of lower and upper secondary. Again, videoing of students acting in small groups in physics instruction provides the data-base for the research. In-depth analyses of the documented discourse will be used to identify the interrelations of epistemic argument and the development of physics knowledge.


This research project has been funded by the German Research Foundation (Number AU 155/5-1,2)