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1.3 PHYSICAL SCIENCES
This paper outlines ongoing research investigating students’ approaches to quantitative and qualitative problem solving in physics. This is an empirical study, which was conducted using a phenomenographic approach to analyse and interpret data from individual semi-structured interviews with students from introductory physics courses. The result of the study thus far is a preliminary set of hierarchical categories that describe the students’ problem-solving approaches when faced with various physics problems. The findings from the research presented here indicate that many introductory students in higher education do not approach problem solving in a strategic manner and many do not try to link or use their physics knowledge in order to solve problems.
Walsh, L., Howard, R., Bowe, B.: An investigation of introductory physics students’ approaches to problem solving. Level3, Issue 5. June 2007.