Relationships between associative and content structure of physics concepts

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Investigated the development of the associative structure of physics concepts as a result of the content presented to the learner and the relationship between associative structure (as determined by a series of word association tests) and academic achievement. College students were divided into a treatment group of 19 Ss who received physics instruction and a control group of 11 Ss who did not. Experimental Ss' associative structures indicated significantly greater correlation with the instructor's associative structure after exposure to course content than previously; experimental Ss also were more similar to the instructor than control Ss. Comparison of regression models showed that associative structure itself contributed significantly to the prediction of achievement. Results suggest that assessment of associative structure may allow insight into a learner's progress which complements achievement testing. (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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