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    ABSTRACT: This paper reports on a study that was designed to investigate the knowledge about image formation exhibited by students following instruction in geometrical optics in an activity-based college physics course for prospective elementary teachers. Students were interviewed individually, using several tasks involving simple apparatus (plane and curved mirrors, lenses, and prisms). The diagrams drawn by the students and the verbal comments they made provide evidence that their knowledge can be described as an intermediate state, a hybridization of preinstruction knowledge (which is dominated by a holistic conceptualization) and formal physics knowledge. We infer from our data the core concepts and main ideas of the postinstruction students' hybrid knowledge. Finally, by comparing preinstruction and formal physics conceptualizations of image formation we argue that a strong type of knowledge restructuring (in the sense of Carey, S., 1986: American Psychologist, 41, 1123-1130; Vosianou, S., & Brewer, W.F., 1987: Review of Educational Research, 57, 51-67) is required for students to acquire the latter.
    Journal of Research in Science Teaching 03/1993; 30(3):271 - 301. DOI:10.1002/tea.3660300305 · 2.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Graphic representations are the main and sometimes the only effective way of communication in the domain of Geometrical Optics. Many of the conceptual difficulties students have in this domain are related to the interpretation of these representations. RAY is an open graphic interface that was designed to address these problems, serving as a teaching aid in class and as a learning environment for students. The program enables the user to create and to control various optical components such as mirrors, lenses and prisms, to produce simulated ray diagrams and to analyze them with a set of graphic tools. Since any optical setup can be easily created and explored, extensive qualitative analysis can be performed during the study, dealing with many examples of ray diagrams. Program design enables the implementation of various approaches to learning and teaching, including the ability to combine the theory and its formal representations with real demonstrations and experiments.
    Computers & Education 06/1993; 20(4):299–309. DOI:10.1016/0360-1315(93)90003-2 · 2.56 Impact Factor
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