Estudio de casos: conocimientos físicos de los estudiantes cuando terminan la escuela secundaria: una advertencia y algunas alternativas

J. Benegas, M. Perez de Landazábal, J. Otero


Initial knowledge of mathematics and physics is usually regarded by university physics instructors as a prerequisite for successful estudiante learning. This article describes incoming university estudiantes' understanding of some basic laws of physics at the Universidad de Alcalá, Spain. A 13-item single response multiple choice test has been constructed and used to measure the conceptual knowledge of physics topics normally included in high school physics. It also contains 5 items on mathematics subjects thought to be of relevance for physics instruction. The results show that these student's sample still hold, after high school instruction, major misconceptions of the tested topics. A comparison is made between this measured understanding and the conceptual knowledge adquired by high school estudiantes enrolled in classes that followed active learning methods. The significant differences in learning gains between traditional and active learning instruction strongly indicate that traditional approaches to teaching physics in high schools should be replaced by field-tested, active learning methodologies. It is argue that this study can be considered, in the field of physics, complementary and reaffirmatory of the recently released results of the PISA 2006 survey.


Conceptual knowledge; physics misconceptions; high school physics; evaluation; active learning

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REVISTA MEXICANA DE FÍSICA E, year 18, issue 1, January-June 2021. Semiannual Journal published by Sociedad Mexicana de Física, A. C. Departamento de Física, 2º Piso, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Alcaldía Coyacán, C.P. 04510 , Ciudad de México. Apartado Postal 70-348. Tel. (+52)55-5622-4946,, Chief Editor: José Alejandro Ayala Mercado.  INDAUTOR Certificate of Reserve: 04-2019-080216402500-203, ISSN: 2683-2216 (on line), 1870-3542 (print), both granted by Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor.  Responsible for the last update of this issue, Technical Staff of Sociedad Mexicana de Física, A. C., Fís. Efraín Garrido Román, 2º. Piso, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Alcaldía Coyacán, C.P. 04510 , Ciudad de México. Date of last modification, January 04, 2021.

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