Ali Yıldız


The purpose of the study is to investigate the elementary education undergraduate students' understanding levels of one dimensional motion which they take in the compulsory general physics course in the second year, third term and instructors’ predictions about the students’ responses. The study is a descriptive study. The data of the study were collected via an interview form consisting of three multiple choice questions and one open ended question developed by the researcher considering the expert opinions. Seven students were chosen randomly from the population relying on volunteers and having spare time and semi-structured interviews were carried out with these students individually. In addition, just after the questions were asked to the students, face-to-face interviews were carried out with five experienced faculty members teaching general/basic physics courses in the same faculty. It was revealed that among the elementary education students 30.7% of students perceived that average speed and average velocity were different quantities, 33.3% of students calculated correctly the value of the velocity of the car starting from rest and speeding up at a constant acceleration on a straight line considering the distance travelled, and 29.3% of them calculated correctly the negative acceleration (or deceleration) of a moving car which slows down at a constant acceleration on a straight line and 10.7% of the students calculated correctly the similar distance travelled by another car moving with a constant acceleration while coming to a rest when it caught up the car moving with a constant speed on a straight line in the same direction. It was revealed that among the participants, the rate of the students who answered the questions correctly were at low levels which required to be examined, thought, discussed, and considered. The percentages of the instructors’ predictions about the responses of elementary education undergraduate students whom they teach linear motion in general physics course reveal that they usually do not adequately know their students’ understanding levels of linear motion and their problems about the subject.


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