Learning physics requires understanding the applicability of fundamental principles in a variety of contexts that share deep features.1-7 One way to help students learn physics is via analogical reasoning. Students can be taught to make an analogy between situations that are more familiar or easier to understand and another situation where the same physics principle is involved but that is more difficult to handle. Here, we examine introductory physics students' ability to use analogies in solving problems involving Newton's second law. Students enrolled in an algebra-based introductory physics course were given a solved problem involving tension in a rope and were then asked to solve another problem for which the physics is very similar but involved a frictional force. They were asked to point out the similarities between the two problems and then use the analogy to solve the friction problem.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)