Freshmen and Physics teacher expectations in learning physics

Neeranart Kritsadatana, Pornrat Wattanakasiwich


Students’ beliefs and expectations in nature of science and learning science can affect their learning behaviors. In this paper, we investigated freshmen taking an introductory physics with calculus at Chiang Mai University, Thailand during 2010 academic year. The instrument was the Maryland Physics Expectations survey (MPEX), a 34-item Likert-scale (agree–disagree) survey that probes student attitudes, beliefs, and assumptions about physics. We report on the results administered the MPEX survey before (pre, N = 227) and after (post, N = 181) instruction only to the first year medical students. We also gave the survey to other courses—associated medical sciences (N = 206), engineering (N = 60) and agro-industry (N = 93) after the instruction only. The MPEX survey was administered to high school physics teachers attending a summer workshop at Chiang Mai University. A large gap between the expectations of experts and students was observed and a tendency for medical student expectations to deteriorate as a result of the introductory physics course.

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