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Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010018

Pre-Service Teachers’ Knowledge of Relational Structure of Physics Concepts: Finding Key Concepts of Electricity and Magnetism

Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki 01051, Finland
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Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 20 January 2019
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Abstract

Relational interlinked dependencies between concepts constitute the structure of abstract knowledge and are crucial in learning conceptual knowledge and the meaning of concepts. To explore pre-service teachers’ declarative knowledge of physics concepts, we have analyzed concept networks, which agglomerate 12 pre-service teacher students’ representations of the key elements in electricity and magnetism. We show that by using network-based methods, the interlinked connections of nodes, locally and globally, can be analyzed to reveal how different elements of the network are supported through their connections to other nodes in the network. Nodes with high global connectivity initialize contiguous concept patchworks within the network and are thus most often found to be abstract, general, and advanced concepts. Locally cohesive concepts, on the other hand, are nearly always auxiliary supporting concepts, related to specific textbook-type experiments and model-type conceptional elements. Comparisons of group-level knowledge and individual pre-service teacher students’ knowledge in the form of networks shows that while in group-level the aggregated knowledge is expert-like, at the individual level pre-service teacher students possess only a fraction of that knowledge. View Full-Text
Keywords: concept networks; relational knowledge; pre-service teacher education; network methods; connectivity; cohesion concept networks; relational knowledge; pre-service teacher education; network methods; connectivity; cohesion
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Koponen, I.T.; Nousiainen, M. Pre-Service Teachers’ Knowledge of Relational Structure of Physics Concepts: Finding Key Concepts of Electricity and Magnetism. Educ. Sci. 2019, 9, 18.

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