Teachers And Students Perceptions Of Students Problem-Solving Difficulties In Physics: Implications For Remediation

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Ayodele O. Ogunleye

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Abstract

In recent times, science education researchers have identified a lot of instruments for evaluating conceptual understanding as well as students’ attitudes and beliefs about physics; unfortunately however, there are no broad based evaluation instruments in the field of problem-solving in physics. This missing tool is an indication of the complexity of the field. However, one obvious way by means of which we can evaluate students’ problem-solving skills is to find out how teachers and students perceive problem-solving difficulties in physics. Using a population of 210 Senior Secondary School (SSS) physics students and their teachers, this study investigated aspects of students’ problem-solving difficulties in physics and possible remedies. The result of the analysis show that lack of students understanding of the problem and their poor mathematical skills constitute the major obstacles in the circle of difficulties that students experience in solving physics problems. Furthermore, the study identified two major remedies that could possibly assist students in solving physics problems: 1) the provision of enough home assignments and 2) the employment of qualified physics teachers. The results are further discussed in terms of their implications for effective learning of physics.

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