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[Phys-L] Re: Goals of the Introductory Course

In what I think is a related note, I've given the following in-class
question to students in the second semester of the algebra-based
sequence (college):

An object is placed in an external magnetic field of 10 T toward the
north and the magnetic force on the object is 10 N toward the east.
Assuming no other forces acting on the object, what is the net force
acting on the object?

A. Zero
B. 10 N toward the east
C. 14 N toward the northeast
D. Not possible to say without knowing the object's velocity
E. None of the above

Out of 19 students, 9 (47%) chose B. Seven (37%) chose D. Nobody chose

The reason for the poor showing, I believe, is that many students
automatically search for an equation and plug numbers in whenever they
see numbers. I can see how it may be valuable to directly target the
problems listed below.

On Wednesday, March 23, 2005 3:59 PM, John Clement wrote:
These are closely related to the problems noted by the
psychologist Reuven Feuerstein as characteristic of the
deprived individual. He divides cognition into input,
elaboration, output. He characterizes the problems
A. Input phase
i. Blurred and sweeping perception
ii. Unplanned, impulsive and usystematic exploratory
iii. Lack or, or impaired, receptive verbal tools
and concepts which affect discrimination.
iv. Lack of, or
impaired need for, precision and accuracy.
v. Lack or, or
impaired use or, two sources of information.

B. Elaboration phase
i. Inadequacy in experiencing the existe of, and in
subsequently defining, an actual problem.
ii. Inability to
select relevant as opposed to irrelevant cues in defining a
iii. Lack of, or impaired, spontaneous comparative
iv. Lack or, or impaired, iteriorization.
(ability to abstract and use information in mental acts, is
limited. Perceived experiences are usually concrete in
v. Lack of, or impaired, planning behavior.

C. Output phase This affect the ability to communicate results.

Robert Cohen; 570-422-3428;
East Stroudsburg University; E. Stroudsburg, PA 18301
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