Increasing the Perceived Relevance of University Physics Problems by Focusing on School-Related Content Knowledge

  • Joost Massolt (Autor/in)
  • Andreas Borowski (Autor/in)

Identifier (Dateien)


The goal of this study is to increase the perceived relevance of university content knowledge courses by physics pre-service teachers. To achieve this goal problem sets discussed in tutorial groups, which are part of first-year physics courses for university physics majors and physics pre-service teachers, were modified in such a way that some of the problems were geared towards the content knowledge category “school-related content knowledge” (SRCK). This category describes conceptual knowledge that is teacher-specific. Conceptual problems based on this category were developed and introduced in weekly tutorials in two different courses (N = 75; N = 43 respectively) together with conceptual problems with no explicit school relevance and with regular, quantitative problems. Every week we asked students of a first- and a second-semester physics course to rate these problems with respect to perceived relevance and difficulty in a questionnaire. One finding is that when the content is more distant to physics taught at school, both conceptual problem types are perceived as more relevant by physics pre-service teachers than the regular, quantitative problems.