Researching and Remodeling Physics Courses- With the Aid of Qualitative and Quantitative InstrumentsAN INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP Workshop Facilitators: Graham Dettrick, Professor Emeritus, Science Education, Monash University-Gippsland, Australia Robert G Fuller, Professor Emeritus, Physics Education Research, Univ. of Nebraska – Lincoln, Nebraska, USA Leslie Wessman, Professor Emerita, Teacher Education, Hope College, Holland, Michigan, USA
Learning Targets • Examine the process of choosing and adapting survey instruments to an Action Research project • Practice interpreting responses to survey instruments • Explore integrating qualitative and quantitative methods.
Introduction to the Characteristics of Three Survey Instruments • TEST 1: Preferred model of teaching and learning physics (SITP) • TEST 2: Beliefs about the nature of science/physics (NOSP) • TEST 3: Attitudes to physics and technology (ATP) • TEST 4: Force Concept Inventory (FCI)
Activity: Complete ATP, SITP & NOSPShort Version Tests (1) EXAMPLE ATTITUDES TO PHYSICS (AND E-TECHNOLOGY TEST GIREP WORKSHOP 24-ITEM SHORT VERSION • Circle ONE number value for each statement ranging from STRONGLY AGREE (+5) to STRONGLY DISAGREE (-5) to indicate your viewpoint. A MIDDLE or EQUALLY BALANCED VIEW is indicated by a “0”. • Please read each of the following statements carefully. • THE STATEMENTS • 9. I find it frustrating because I never seem to be able to locate the information I want in physics through the use of computers and electronic search tools. • +5 +4 +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 -4 -5
Activity: Complete ATP, SITP & NOSPShort Version Tests (2) SCORING INSTRUCTIONS Put your score for each question in the appropriate box. Some scores haveto have their sign REVERSED (i.e., multiply by -1) before they can be used. This is indicated by a “-“ next to the number, e.g., if your response to statement 9 is -3 then the score in the right-hand column in the ZP box will be +3. TP (See 1.3 below) ZU (See 2.2 below) ZC (See 2.4 below) Statement Score Statement Score Statement Score 24 + 23 + 9 -
TEST 1: Strategies in Teaching PhysicsQuestionnaire (SITP) Administered to Instructors and Students 3 sub-tests, 80 items: • Subtest 1: Preference for Neo-classicism or Vocationalism (traditional teaching and learning of reproducible physics facts and concepts) • Subtest 2: Preference for Liberal-Progressivism (students become a potent self-actualizing and reflective “educated person”) • Subtest 3: Preference for Social Criticism (development of an emancipated co-participant in work and life)
TEST 2:TheNature of Science Profile (NOSP) 24-item, 11 point Likert scale, 5 subtestsAdministered to Instructors and Students Respondents’ philosophical disposition to the nature of science (and physics) scores are located on five “axes” to establish a “profile”: 1. Relativism < -- > Positivism (RPP) 2. Inductivism < -- > Deductivism (IDP) 3. Contextualism < -- > Decontextualism (CDP) 4. Process < -- > Content (PCP) 5. Instrumentalism < -- > Realism (IRP)
TEST 3: Attitude to Physics and E-Technology Test (ATP) - 1 87 questions - 7 Subtests - 11 point scale Administered to Instructors and Students • Subtests: • 1 Attitude to the social implications of physics: SP • 2 Attitude to scientific inquiry in physics: AP • 3 Attitude to teaching/learning physics: TP • 4 Attitude to physics as a personal threat: PTP • 5 Attitude to physics as a hands-on activity: HP • 6 Attitude to the socio-cultural value of physics: VP • 7 Attitude to E-technology in learning/teaching physics: EP (contains 4 additional subtests)
Attitude to Physics and E-Technology Test (ATP) – 2E-technology Test: 4 subtests - 11 point scale 1 Attitude of interest in E-technology ZIP (7 items) 2 Attitude to E-technology as an aid to study ZUP (7 items) 3 Attitude to E-technology as and aid to multi-tasking ZMP (6 items) 4 Attitude of vulnerability with respect to E-technology ZCP (7 items)
TEST 1: Strategies in Teaching Physics(SITP) “THEORETICAL” FRAMEWORK 1 STUDENT ROLE: Neo-classical/Traditional: Knowledge reproduction Student is a passive receiver of transmitted knowledge, achieving within the instructor’s specified course outline. Liberal-Progressive: Knowledge reconstruction Student is a personal constructor of knowledge through hands-on experience, discovery, inquiry, discussion and reflection. Socially Critical: Dialectal knowledge reconstruction Student is a co-learner within overarching political, social, historical and economic contexts.
TEST 1: Strategies in Teaching Physics(SITP) “THEORETICAL” FRAMEWORK 2 INSTRUCTOR ROLE Neo-classical/Traditional: An authority. The instructor structures, sequences and transmits knowledge to achieve reproductive mastery and exam expertise. Liberal-Progressive: A facilitator and mentor. The “instructor” enables individual learning opportunities so students achieve autonomy at differential rates according to aptitude. Socially Critical: Aresource person, project organizer and co-learner. The “instructor” negotiates critical collaborative activities that demand joint values of personal autonomy and social responsibility within the chosen context of activity.
TEST 1: Strategies in Teaching Physics(SITP) “THEORETICAL” FRAMEWORK 3 ASSESSMENT Neo-classical/Traditional: Tests of acquisition, and mastery of syllabus content (facts and algorithmic processes) through forms of “fair” “competitive” exams. Liberal-Progressive: Descriptive evaluation of the quality of individual growth through personal or group project work or other learning opportunities. Socially Critical: Negotiated assessment, peer assessment, goal-based assessment. Teacher and co-learners look for evidence in a framework of negotiated requirements showing personal contribution and critical response in the successful completion of work.
TEST 1: Strategies in Teaching Physics(SITP) “THEORETICAL” FRAMEWORK 4 INSTRUCTIONAL ORGANIZATION Neo-classical/Traditional: “Homogeneous” grouping, streaming, selection. “Formal” classroom arrangement for lecture-recitation, manual skill or laboratory skill acquisition. Liberal-Progressive: Based on ideal of individual-tutor/ instructor relationship. “Informal” arrangements for discussion, small group and individual project work. Socially Critical: Heterogeneous and mixed-ability - with cross-age and cross-ability tutoring. Group work & projects. Weak boundaries between classroom, “school” and community.
TEST 2 : Nature of Science/Physics(NOSP) “THEORETICAL” FRAMEWORK 1 Contrasting Philosophical Beliefs Inductivist<->Deductivist: Inductivist: The scientist’s job is the interrogation of Nature. One can infer from a particular set of observations to a general meaning and determine the underlying laws and theories “inductively” accordingly. Deductivist: Scientists proceed by testing ideas produced by the logical consequences of current theories. Scientific reasoning consists of the forming of hypotheses which are not established by the empirical data but may be suggested by them. Hypotheses are “theory laden”.
TEST 2 : Nature of Science/Physics(NOSP) “THEORETICAL” FRAMEWORK 2 Contrasting Philosophical Beliefs Process<->Content Process: Science/Physics as a characteristic set of identifiable methods/processes. The learning of these methods and processes is the essential part of science education. Content: Science/Physics is characterized by the facts and ideas it has and the essential part of science education is the acquisition and mastery of this “body of knowledge”.
TEST 2 : Nature of Science/Physics(NOSP) “THEORETICAL” FRAMEWORK 3 Contrasting Philosophical Beliefs Instrumentalism<->Realism Instrumentalism: If they work, scientific theories allow useful “ahead of time” descriptions to be made. The ideas of science are “instruments” which we can use, but they say nothing about a “God’s eye view” of reality. Science has no capacity to guarantee its own truth. Realism: Scientific statements are truthful and factual statements about a world that exists in time and space independent of the scientists’ perceptions. “Correct” laws describe and “correct” theories explain relationships which really exist and how the world really works.
TEST: Attitude to Science/Physics Test(ATP) “THEORETICAL” FRAMEWORK • There is NO “theoretical” basis for the ATP in the way that the SITP and NOSP sub-tests relate within each test internally or that clear associations my be developed between the sub-tests of both tests. • The ATP is designed as “useful to know” test of attitudes in defined contexts. • The E-technology attitude test was designed as an extra sub-test (with its own sub-tests) following discussions amongst staff and a recommendation by a research planning meeting.
TEST 1 & 2 COMPARISON:How SITP Sub-test approaches to curriculum and instructionfit together with the NOSP sub-test approaches to the philosophy of science - using NOSP & SITP sub-test terminology Neo-classical (NC) vsLiberal-progressivism (LP) (knowledge reproduction) (knowledge construction) Realism <-> Instrumentalism (IRP) Inductivism <-> Deductivism (IDP) Positivism <-> Relativism (RPP) Decontextualism <-> Contextualism (CDP) Content <-> Process (PCP) Social Criticism is not represented in the table above because the philosophical differences between LP & SC are far more subtle than between NC & LP (or NC & SC).
4-Group Activity: • Each Group participant should outline the discoveries they have made about their SITP, NOSP and ATP preferences - according to the shortened test results. • Compare and contrast your findings with the other members of your group. • Discuss how your findings might shape your teaching of physics. • Discuss how students could be affected by differing points of view. • Find the commonalities represented your group of “experts”. Write the common characteristics on newsprint to be posted for large group consideration. • Compare and/or contrast your group preferences with the preferences of instructors in the research project.
Note: Variability between instructor responses. Strong differentiation between Neo- classical and other teaching models for Instructor 1 Little differentiation between liberal- progressive and socially-critical teaching models for instructors 1,2 and 3. No noteworthy differentiation amongst the three teaching models for instructors 2 and 3 Noticeable differentiation between the socially-critical model and the other two models SITP Research ResultsIndividual Instructor Subtest Profile Summary: The four instructors in the teaching team exhibited noticeable differences with regard to preferred teaching strategies and learning outcomes.
Examination of instructors’ SITP “Neo-classical” or “traditional teaching/learning preferences show strong inconsistencies between instructors (eg 1 & 2) and within any one instructor (eg 3 & 4)
Again, instructors’ SITP “Liberal-progressive” teaching/learning preferences show inconsistencies between instructors (eg 1 & 2) and within any one instructor (eg 3 & 4) but the LP approach has stronger support (excepting instructor 3).
The bar graphs resemble Nott & Wellington’s “axes”. For the Relativist-Positivist subtest (RPP), the lower the negative score, the stronger the Relativist disposition. The higher the positive score, the stronger the Positivist disposition – similarly for IDP, CDP, PCP & IRP.
Conflicts of Instructors’ Ideas about the Nature of Science/Physics • The previous (NOSP) bar graph shows clearly identifiable strongly contrasting ideas amongst a small team of instructors about the nature of science/physics. In some cases some staff do not or can not differentiate the fundamental differences between opposing philosophical viewpoints about the nature of science, eg, RPP, IDP, and IRP. • The SITP test results indicated a results trend corresponding with NOSP results for the three curriculum models used in the research. • One must come to realize with absolute clarity that a difference between contrasting ideas about the nature of science and ideas about models of curriculum, goals of instruction and the associated processes of teaching, learning, and evaluating should NOT be construed simply as a matter of minor difference of viewpoint or style – especially when redesigning study programmes, because this approach completely obscures a fundamental difference of educational code, or philosophy or metaphysics that exists between the supporters of any one model and the followers of another.
The bar graph shows a variability in attitudes except in PTP: Attitude to Physics as a Personal Threat. Strong differences appear with HP: “hands-on activity” and AP “inquiry” where some instructors are not strongly disposed to hands-on activities and to inquiry in physics.
Contrary to the expectation that instructors would exhibit a uniformly high response to all E-technology subtests this was not the case.
Student NOSP Sub-test Pre-post Statistical Comparisons • A Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks two-tailed statistical test was used to examine pre-post attitude differences. N=112 • RPP Relativism<->Positivism: No difference • IDP Inductivism<->Deductivism: No difference • CDP Contextualism De-contextualism: No difference • PCP Process<->Content: No difference • IRP Instrumentalism: No difference A pre and post binomial analysis showed that students favour the ideas of Process, Realism and Decontextualism but do not distinguish between Inductivism-Deductivism orRelativism-Positivism.
Student Pre-post ATP Sub-test Comparisons: 1 (SP) A Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks two-tailed statistical test showed that post- test results were significantly lower.
Student ATP Sub-test Pre-post Statistical Comparisons • A Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks two-tailed statistical test was used to examine pre-post attitude differences. N=161 • SP: Social implications: Significantly lower. • AP: Scientific inquiry: Significantly lower. • TP: Teaching/Learning Physics: No difference. • PTP: Physics as a personal threat: Significantly lower. • HP: Practical hands-on involvement: No difference. • VP: Socio-cultural value of physics: Significantly lower. • No significant difference in all male-female sub-test comparisons
Student ATP E-Technology Sub-tests Pre-post Statistical Comparisons • A Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks two-tailed statistical test was used to examine pre-post attitude differences. N=161 • ZIP: Interest in E-technology: Significantly lower. • ZUP: E-technology as an aid to study: Significantly lower. • ZMP: E-technology as an aid to multi-tasking: Significantly lower. • ZCP: Feelings of personal control with E-technology: Significantly lower.