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Title: Surveying relations between first-year science students' understanding of electrostatics and students' fields of interest in thailand
Authors: Thanida Sujarittham
Narumon Emarat
Kwan Arayathanitkul
Jintawat Tanamatayarat
Mahidol University
King Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok
Keywords: Engineering;Physics and Astronomy;Social Sciences
Issue Date: 25-Sep-2013
Citation: International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning. Vol.19, No.2 (2013), 129-142
Abstract: To improve students' achievement in physics, many physics education researchers have sought to identify factors affecting on it. The evidences showed that age, gender, interest in physics, study habits, and especially attitude toward physics directly influenced on students' conceptual understanding. The purpose of this study is to survey the relation between first-year science students' conceptual understanding of electrostatics and their fields of interest. The samples were 182 first-year science students from a university in Thailand and were attending a general physics course in the second semester of academic year 2010. All science students enrolled the same courses in the first year including general science and non-science subjects. From the second year onward, they would enroll in different courses depending on their selected field of interest. The students can select only one field of interest as their major discipline; Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Mathematics, or Physics. Therefore, the students were divided into 5 groups. We used 20 questions from the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM) to probe students' understanding of electrostatics. The students were then asked to identify which field they would be interested to study in the future. Results showed that the average pre-test score of the class was 36% . After the course, the CSEM test was conducted again as post-test. It was found that the students who selected Physics as their field of interest got the highest improvement as measured by using the normalized gain (Hake 1998). This was followed by normalized gains of the students who selected Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, and Biotechnology, respectively. The difference of their learning gains was significant at 0.05. The results implied that students' field of interest was one of the factors affecting on the improvement of their conceptual understanding. © Common Ground, Thanida Sujarittham, Narumon Emarat, Kwan Arayathanitkul, Jintawat Tanamatayarat.
ISSN: 23277971
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2011-2015

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