HomeJournal Of Research In Science, Computing And Engineeringvol. 3 no. 2 (2006)

Cognitive Expectations in Introductory Physics: A Profile of Biology, Liberal Arts, and Physics Majors

Voltaire Mallari Mistades

Discipline: Physics



Every science teacher aims for students’ understanding and appreciation of the material of the course. Research has shown that what students expect will happen in their Introductory Physics course plays a critical role in how they respond to the course. Students’ cognitive expectations – expectations about the learning process and the structure of knowledge – affect what information they will listen to, and, eventually, comprehend. If teachers are to achieve the goal of increasing students’ appreciation and understanding of science, there is a need to look at how students view science and how these initial conceptions could be used in science classrooms. The study utilized the Maryland Physics Expectations (MPEX) Survey to probe student attitudes, beliefs, and assumptions about Physics. Three groups of students were surveyed before and after taking an Introductory Overall, the students showed an increased agreement with experts’ response in the following dimensions (about the nature and structure of learning): (a) independence, (b) concepts, (c) reality link, and (d) effort link.