Featured Articles

Affective Factors in STEM Learning and Scientific Inquiry: Assessment of Cognitive Conflict and Anxiety 
Lei Bao, Yeounsoo Kim, Amy Raplinger, Jing Han, Kathleen Koenig​, Pages 1-52. 

Cognitive conflict is well recognized as an important factor in conceptual change and is widely used in developing inquiry-based curricula.  However, cognitive conflict can also contribute to student anxiety during learning, which can have both positive and negative impacts on students’ motivation and learning achievement.  Therefore, instructors need to be informed of the impacts of introducing cognitive conflicts during teaching.  To get this information, teachers need a practical instrument that can help them identify the existence and features of cognitive conflict introduced by the instruction and the resulting anxiety.  Based on the literature on studies of cognitive conflict and student anxiety, a quantitative instrument, the In-class Conflict and Anxiety Recognition Evaluation (iCARE), was developed and used to monitor the status of students’ cognitive conflict and anxiety in the Physics by Inquiry (PBI) classes. This paper introduces this instrument and discusses the types of information that can be measured.  Research and pedagogical values of this instrument are also discussed.

Citation Style:
Bao, L., Kim, Y., Raplinger, A., Han, J., & Koenig, K. (2013). Affective Factors in STEM Learning and Scientific Inquiry: Assessment of Cognitive Conflict and Anxiety, Research in Education Assessment and Learning, 4 (1), 1-52. www.realjournal.org.


Alignment Between Physics Curriculum Standard and High School Physics Exit Examination in China
Yuying Guo, Tao Xing, Guiqing Xu, and Chaoyang Zheng, 2012 (2), Pages 29-40

In order to find out if the physics achievement qualifying examination reflect the main contents of physics curriculum standards and the direction of the curriculum reform, this study compares the alignment be-tween the physics curriculum standard of senior high school in China and physics achievement qualifying examination in Guangdong, Ningxia, Shandong and Hainan provinces. The results based on the Porter alignment method indicate that all the alignment between curriculum standard and test papers in the four provinces are very low, with the Porter alignment index range from 0.25 to 0.38, due to a shift toward high-er cognitive level from curriculum standard to exams and the focus of the exam contents in mechanics. Although the experimental inquiry and physics history are paid attention to in all these test papers, no PTS (physics-technology-society) and physics ideas and methods are reflected in these papers at all. How to test these aspects, which are important contents in the new physics curriculum, remains to further research.


Examining the Geometry Items of State Standardized Exams Using the van Hiele Model: Test Content and Student Achievement
Yating Liu, Pingping Zhang, Patti Brosnan, Diana Erchick, 2012 (1), Pages 22-28

In this work we catalogued the content of multiple-choice geometry items on the Ohio Achievement Tests for Grades 3, 5 and 8 according to the van Hiele model of development of geometric thought. Using state-wide data from 1,418 students, responses on each question were analyzed to trace students’ performance at different grade levels. Statistical results indicated that the majority of the items at each grade level focused on Levels 1 and 2, and student performance declined as the question level increased. A closer examination of the participants’ responses in each item suggested that visual evidence and linguistic clues significantly impacted students’ judgment.


Research in physics education, the early years
Arnold B. Arons, 2010 (2), Pages 40-43

Based on the paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference, Nebraska-Lincoln, 1998. Published under the permission by Robert G. Fuller, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.