In this paper, we discuss how students enrolled in a conceptual physics class for future elementary school teachers progress through the CoMPASS (Concept Map Project-based Activity Scaffolding System) curriculum for inclined planes. The curriculum challenges students to design the best inclined plane to lift a pool table into a van. We have found that students typically predict the correct type of board (long and smooth) to complete the challenge, but their responses include evidence of both physics and everyday reasoning. After working through the materials, the majority of students understand the relationship between distance and force in the inclined plane as well as why the inclined plane is useful to lift heavy objects. However, students have difficulty both relating a plane’s steepness to the force required to pull an object and discussing work in a scientifically correct manner.


  • Education > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 1
  • Grade 6
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 9


NSDL,inclined planes,Education Foundations,hypertext,Undergraduate (Lower Division),oai:nsdl.org:2200/20090204193713103T,Higher Education,Physics Education Research,General,General Physics,scientific information systems,Graduate/Professional,concept maps,Social Sciences,students’ understanding,Teacher Characteristics,PERC 2008,philosophical aspects,Instructional Material Design,research and development management,educational aids,student experiments,Physics,Computing and Information,engineering education,educational courses,Content Knowledge,Education Practices,Engineering,NSDL_SetSpec_439869,learning by example,physics education research,Education



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