How mathematical is conceptual understanding?
Paper i proceeding, 2005

Conceptual understanding has widely been suggested as the key first link to gain a solid physics understanding. By the means of empirical data from interviews with first year university students around force and friction problems, we argue that conceptual understanding has to be developed in conjunction with a structural understanding of the potential mathematical solution to master the area more thoroughly. Such structural understanding does neither necessarily seem to follow or precede a conceptual understanding.

Conceptual understanding

Newtonian mechanics


Tom Adawi

Chalmers, Centrum för kunskapsbildning och kommunikation (CKK)

Åke Ingerman

Chalmers, Mikroteknologi och nanovetenskap

Ann-Marie Pendrill

Physics Teaching in Engineering Education PTEE 2005, Brno University of Technology, June 29 – July 1, 2005, Brno, Czech Republic



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