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Chia, T. C. (1987, December). The effects of integrating mathematics to physics instruction on physics learning at junior college level. Paper presented at the 1st Joint AARE/NZARE Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand.
This study was undertaken in view of the fact that many pre-university students had difficulties with mathematical skills as well as transfer of mathematical skills in solving physics problems. The study aimed: (a) to identify the main difficulties faced by the students and then devise teaching units to overcome the difficulties; (b) to investigate whether there was any improvement in achievement in physics if mathematical skills were being stressed explicitly in physics lessons. The topics chosen for this study were: Graphs, Errors and Vectors. Three different sets of pre- and post-tests were designed to accomplish the purposes of study. The aim of the pre-tests was to determine the weaknesses of the students in mathematical skills and transfer skills, from which three teaching units were specifically designed for the experimental group. The fused curriculum was adopted to integrate the two subject areas and the combination of interrogatory, demonstration and prototype development instructional methods was implemented with emphasis on immediate feedback and corrective teaching. Students' achievements from both control and experimental groups were measured by the post tests. Analysis of treatment effects strongly supported the notion that with adequate emphasis on mathematical skills and fostering transfer skills in the physics tutorial lessons, students' performance in solving physics problems could be significantly improved.
This paper was presented at the 1st Joint AARE/NZARE Conference, held in Christchurch, New Zealand from 3 - 6 Dec 1987
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