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%T Investigating Learners' Epistemological Framings of Quantum Mechanics
%A Dini, Vesal.
%8 2017-04-18
%R http://localhost/files/3b591n04r
%X Abstract: Classical mechanics challenges students to use their intuitions and
experiences as a basis for understanding, in effect to approach learning as ``a refinement
of everyday thinking'' (Einstein, 1936). Moving on to quantum mechanics (QM), students,
like physicists, need to adjust this approach, in particular with respect to the roles that
intuitive knowledge and mathematics play in the pursuit of coherent understanding (these
are adjustments to aspects of their \emph{epistemologies}). In this dissertation, I explore
how some students manage the epistemological transition. I began this work by recruiting
both graduate and undergraduate students, interviewing each subject several times as they
moved through coursework in QM. The interviews featured, among other things, how students
tried to fit ideas together in mutually consistent ways, including with respect to
intuitive knowledge, mathematics and experiment, if at all. I modeled these dynamic
cognitive processes as different \emph{epistemological framings} (i.e., tacit,
in-the-moment responses to the question ``How should I approach knowledge?''). Through
detailed qualitative analyses of students' reasoning and a systematic coding of their
interviews, I explored how these coherence seeking related framings impacted their
learning. The dissertation supports three main findings: (1) students' patterns of
epistemological framing are mostly stable within a given course; (2) students who profess
epistemologies aligned with the coordination of coherence seeking framings tend to be more
stable in demonstrating them; and (3) students aware that their understanding of QM
ultimately anchors in its mathematics tend to produce more coherent explanations and
perform better in their courses. These findings are consistent with existing research on
student epistemologies in QM and imply that epistemologies, in particular whether and how
students seek coherence, require greater attention and emphasis in
instruction.; Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2017.; Submitted to the Dept. of Physics.; Advisor: David Hammer.; Committee: Roger Tobin, Hugh Gallagher, and Peter Love.; Keywords: Physics, and Education.
%[ 2022-05-13
%9 Text
%~ Tufts Digital Library
%W Institution