Preprofessional students' beliefs about learning physics

Jan van Aalst*, Tony Key

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We report results obtained with the Maryland Physics Expectations (MPEX) survey in: (a) a course for students who have not previously taken a second course in physics in high school; (b) physics for the life sciences; (c) honors physics; and (d) physics for engineers. Comparing the responses with a group of experienced teachers Redish et al. call the "expert group", we find that (i) overall, agreement with experts decreased after the two semesters of instruction, and (ii) there were significant differences between the response patterns for students in the first two courses, compared with the last two. The data suggest that the context of learning, i.e., a program in physical science versus one in the life sciences must be taken into account in research on students' beliefs about learning physics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-78
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


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