This paper is concerned with a certain kind of physics problems, called non-formalized problems, and their use in a university physics course. Non-formalized problems require the problem solver to give a more precise specification of the problems so as to make them amenable to physical analysis. At the same time the problems have definite solutions. It is argued that such problems can help develop essential aspects of problem solving competency, in particular the ability to turn a real world problem into a model amenable to mathematical analysis. These aspects are not needed for solving standard problems typically used in physics education. The argument is illustrated by analysis of what is required to solve two specific problems as well as students’ solutions to one of them. Moreover, some pertinent experiences from a course of long standing at Roskilde University based on non-formalized problems are offered.
|Journal||MONA: Matematik og Naturfagsdidaktik|
|Number of pages||20|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|