Comparison of Students' Knowledge Structure Coherence and Understanding of Force in the Philippines, Turkey, China, Mexico, and the United States
Journal of the Learning Sciences Volume 20, Number 2, ISSN 1050-8406
This study investigates the ongoing debate in the conceptual change literature between unitary and elemental perspectives on students' knowledge structure coherence. More specifically, the current study explores two potential explanations for the conflicting results reported by Ioannides and Vosniadou (2002)and diSessa, Gillespie, and Esterly (2004) in terms of differences in coding schemes and differences in student populations. The current study addresses these questions by applying the coding schemes from both studies to interviews with 201 students drawn from the United States, the Philippines, Turkey, China, and Mexico. The analyses focus first on the coding schemes, suggesting that differences in coding schemes seem unlikely to account for the differences in the original studies. The analyses then focus on potential differences between student populations, suggesting that some differences exist in terms of consistency and meanings that might result from language, culture, or educational systems, but that these differences are too small to account for the radical differences in the findings of the original studies. Two additional explanations are then proposed and explored involving the instruments and the epistemological stances invoked for the students. Overall, the results align more closely with the findings of diSessa, Gillespie, and Esterly (2004). [Supplemental materials are available for this article. Go to the publisher's online edition of "Journal of the Learning Sciences" for the following free supplement: Coding Schemes and Rules.] (Contains 9 figures, 18 tables, and 3 footnotes.)
Clark, D.B., D'Angelo, C.M. & Schleigh, S.P. (2011). Comparison of Students' Knowledge Structure Coherence and Understanding of Force in the Philippines, Turkey, China, Mexico, and the United States. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 20(2), 207-261.