The same physics studied or not?: A study of the role of technology and the ‘enacted’ and the ‘lived’ ‘object of learning’ in three different lab setups.
2010 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
One necessary condition for learning is that students are able to focus on the object of learning and discern its critical features. According to Marton and Pang (2008, p. 538) “‘new’ phenomenography … [also] involves the study of variation … among the critical aspects of the phenomenon as experienced or seen by the experiencer”. However as pointed out by for example Bohr (1958, p. 27) “it is … impossible to distinguish sharply between the phenomena themselves and their conscious perception”. Bohr continues (p. 73) ”it is indeed more appropriate to use the word phenomenon to refer only to observations obtained under circumstances whose description includes an account of the whole experimental arrangement”. Prior research has shown that it is difficult for most students, even at university level, to discern and learn to use motion concepts such as velocity and acceleration. Many students believe that the acceleration always is in the direction of motion and that zero velocity implies zero acceleration. Motion of an object on an inclined plane is commonly studied in physics teaching laboratories and in this study three different common physical setups are studied. It is shown that the differences led to the establishment of different experiential human–instrument–world relationship due to the differences in instrumentation. It is shown that the technology in some setups does not afford critical variation and discernment and hence the ‘enacted objects of learning’ are different although on the surface the same physics is studied. Indeed students ‘lived object of learning’ is different in the different set-ups as shown in their activities during the labs recorded by video. I conclude that my study supports variation theory, but I also argue that the role of the technology cannot be neglected.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-65603OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-65603DiVA: diva2:397181
Nätverket för fenomenografi och variationsteori, Göteborg