Prospective Physics Teachers’ Understanding of the Speed of Light within the Scope of Special Relativity


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Taşkın T. , İnğeç Ş.

International Journal of Physics and Chemistry Education , vol.11, no.2, pp.45-53, 2019 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Title of Journal : International Journal of Physics and Chemistry Education
  • Page Numbers: pp.45-53

Abstract

This study employs the qualitative method to investigate the concept structures of prospective physics teachers regarding the speed of light. For data collection, 46 prospective physics teachers were asked to draw concept maps related to special relativity. A total of 77 propositions were found in the maps. Content analysis was used for data analysis. 4 themes and 14 sub-themes were found as a result of the analysis.  “The effect of the speed of light” theme had the highest number of propositions written by the prospective teachers. Some statements claiming the existence of speeds higher than the speed of light were found in “the property of the speed of light” theme. The findings can be interpreted as that students had difficulties with understanding the second postulate of special relativity.