Coordinator: Prof. Anwesh Mazumdar
PDTC - Pre Departure Training Camp
IJSO - International Junior Science Olympiad
Coordinator: Dean's Office
Student and teacher conceptions of derivations in physics
Derivations constitute a core component of physics education in India. They are essentially the end products of mathematical modeling activities undertaken by scientists at various points in history. However, derivations are often taught and learned in Indian classrooms as a series of mathematical manipulations and procedures culminating in an equation. The whole process starts and ends in mathematics, with little attention paid to the modeling dimension of derivations and its connection to the real world. Often there is little to no discussion on aspects like how reality is getting loaded into equations or how math symbols are blended with physical meaning. Such an algorithmic approach negatively impacts students' conceptual understanding, and knowledge organization and stifles their ability to tackle novel real-world problems. It also affects mathematical sense-making, how symbols are interpreted and equations are argued. Frameworks that explain the mechanism which underlies the mathematization of the real world and mathematical sense-making have resulted in suggesting useful pedagogical approaches and learning materials. However, the literature review reveals that studies focusing explicitly on derivations in PER are limited and the topic has not received the attention it deserves. My research proposal aims to address this gap. I plan to investigate student and teacher conceptions of derivations, and aspects of mathematical sense-making while teaching and learning derivations in physics courses at the undergraduate level and explore ways in which technology can be leveraged to enhance the sense-making process.
All are invited to attend the seminar. Tea will be served after the seminar.