Feeley - MST on thinking about gravitational forces

Roger E. Feeley

Identifying student concepts of gravity

unpublished Master of Science in Teaching, 2007

This paper discusses a survey developed to investigate student concepts of "gravity" among AST 109 astronomy students and pre-service K-12 teachers. Survey questions were developed or modified from those in the literature [Berg 1991, Dostal 2005]. Students were questioned on their reasoning about the behavior of objects on the surface of a planetary body (e.g., the Earth or the moon) and the causes of this behavior. Results of the survey successfully elicited student alternate conceptions with various aspects of gravity. These misconceptions include the tendency to attribute gravity to the presence of an atmosphere, and the belief that a threshold amount of gravity, mass, or weight is necessary for free-fall to occur.


Sayre and Wittmann on coordinate systems

Sayre, E.C. and Wittmann, M.C. (2007)
Intermediate Mechanics Students’ Coordinate System Choice
Conference on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education 2007. Published online, only. Full conference proceedings available here.