AAPT Abstract Archive

Abstract Information

  Session: Physics Education Research Posters 2
  Paper Type: Poster
  Title: Student Journeys for Understanding Radiation and Radioactivity
  Meeting: 2014 Summer Meeting: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  Location: N/A
  Time: 5:00PM
  Author: Andy P. Johnson, Black Hills State University
605-642-6508, andy.johnson@bhsu.edu
  Co-Author(s): Anna Hafele, Ryan Anderson
  Abstract: Radiation literacy is a key component of scientific literacy. However, few people understand much about radiation. Most people think radiation can spread to and contaminate objects and organisms, making the victims radioactive and causing mutations. People tend to use the terms "radiation" and "radioactivity" interchangeably. These alternate ideas impede learning and reasoning about radiation and radioactivity. The research presented in this poster shows that developing understandings of radiation is a slow process that occurs gradually and that seems to require a well-structured environment. Thus it appears that teaching radiation will only result in meaningful understanding when the teaching effort is sustained and robust. We present evidence for some of the stages in students gradually progressing to understanding radiation.
  Footnotes: This research, which is part of the Inquiry into Radioactivity (IiR) project, is supported by NSF DUE grant 0942699.
  Presentation: PST2C37 A Johnson Journeys_poster.pdf

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