I'm trying to directly, explicitly work on students in physics reasoning well. By "well," I mean that they can construct a linear path of inference from known information to the conclusion.
They think that this is easy, and that they're just "not showing" some steps that they did in their heads, but... about two-thirds of their initial answers are wrong!
Here was the prompt:
My main message:
Science isn't about 'knowing;' it's about being able to figure out something that you don't know! If you can't reason, then you're not doing science.
The biggest resistance is from the 'memorizers,' and why not? It has worked for most of them before.
Here's about what I'm looking for - the student group above did a pretty good job of it, but many groups weren't quite able to get to here:
One thing that made it trickier for them was that this isn't really the totality of the situation. If I really went through everything, it might look more like this:
How do we teach that? Well, that's the trick, isn't it? I think that being forced to explicitly write it out can help model the processes will push them in the direction of logical progression of thought when they don't write it down, but I'm open to suggestions!