Learning physics in context: a study of student learning about electricity and magnetism

Noah Finkelstein

Abstract. This paper re-centres the discussion of student learning in physics to focus on context. In order to do so, a theoretically-motivated understanding of context is developed. Given a well-defined notion of context, data from a novel university class in electricity and magnetism are analyzed to demonstrate the central and inextricable role of context in student learning. This work sits within a broader effort to create and analyze environments which support student learning in the sciences.

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