Waiting for physics? An inquiry into first year physics students’ experience of a traditionel science curriculum.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch


Studies of attrition in science education show that students who leave are often extrinsically motivated,
whereas students who stay are often intrinsically motivated. Furthermore, students (in Scandinavia)
tend to use an introvert discourse when explaining their motives for leaving. A longitudinal study of 26
first year students of physics, who were interviewed on two to seven occasions over a year, show that
even the intrinsically motivated students struggle with their studies. They experience a pressure for
using a surface approach to studying, which they find inappropriate. Although students use an
introspective discourse, analysis of interviews show that they experience a conflict between their
intrinsic interest in physics and the curriculum. This can be interpreted as a problem with the didactical
transposition; the ‘physics taught’ is too distant from ‘research physics’.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2009
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventSociety for Research into Higher Education Annual Conference 2009 - Newport, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Dec 200910 Dec 2009


ConferenceSociety for Research into Higher Education Annual Conference 2009
CountryUnited Kingdom

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and www.ku.dk

No data available

ID: 17366731