Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Exploring the affective domain in teaching intermediate mechanics: Benefits and challenges arising from a tutorial approach


Physics Department


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Intermediate mechanics is often the first undergraduate theory course that physics majors and minors take beyond the introductory level. Unless their introductory courses were substantially reformed by PER-tested teaching and learning strategies, physics students may very likely hold unproductive attitudes, expectations, and habits of mind that have been reinforced from their experiences in introductory physics. Such beliefs and attitudes will not only contribute to challenges they will face in their advanced courses but how they will try to respond to those challenges. This targeted poster is designed to spark discussion about how recent PER and curriculum development efforts can help address such affective issues in the context of a reformed intermediate mechanics course. Examples of teaching and assessment strategies developed in the context of the Intermediate Mechanics Tutorials (IMT) project will be presented. [1] Examples will include those shared by pilot-site implementers of IMT materials. Emphasized in particular will be the benefits and challenges of resources like IMT that incorporate guided inquiry but that are meant to supplement not replace a lecture-based approach. [1] Supported by NSF grants DUE-0441426 and DUE-0442388. For details see Ambrose, Am. J. Phys. 72, 453 459 (2004).

Conference Name

2013 Physics Education Research Conference

Conference Location

Portland, OR

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