Over the past decade, physicists, psychologists and science educators have been conducting research that has yielded detailed information about how students learn physics. Some investigators have used physics as a context for examining cognitive processes and approaches to problem‐solving. For others, the primary emphasis has been on conceptual understanding in a particular area of physics such as mechanics, electricity, heat or optics. Regardless of the motivation behind the research, the results indicate that similar difficulties occur among students of different ages and ability, often in spite of formal study in physics. The persistence of these difficulties suggests that they are not easily overcome, and need to be addressed explicitly during instruction.
Research on conceptual understanding in mechanics
Lillian C. McDermott; Research on conceptual understanding in mechanics. Physics Today 1 July 1984; 37 (7): 24–32. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2916318
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