The Lawson test is not a physics test, but rather a test of thinking skills. I am not asking others to do my research, but rather to do research to see what is going on with their students, and to begin to see what these tests are measuring. As to phuzzy physics that is a value judgement and not something that is confirmed by research.
ALL teachers should be doing research to see what is going on. This recommendation has been around for a long time. Actually all MDs should be doing research and many do write up unusual cases. Veterinarians also do this. By looking at various measurements teacher can learn new things, and can learn how to change what they do to improve it. All of the PER research is done by physics teachers either at the college or secondary level.
The Lawson test reveals that students have very low understanding of a number of skills which are common to science and math. The big one is proportional reasoning, but two variable reasoning is also low, and surprisingly I have seen very low sequencing skill. These are all things that are common to both math and physics, and without them students can't understand algebra or calculus, so they memorize their way through these courses. And they do pass even with lack of proportional reasoning.
I do have evidence that gain on the Lawson test does not occurr in conventional math courses, but can happen in an IE science course. Lawson has published data showing how his course in biology achieves gain. Shayer & Adey's middle school program is aimed at improving the type of reasoning measured by the Lawson test, and it results in a 20% increase in both math and physics scores on a UK national standardized test. But the improvement is a delayed effect. Why are so many unfamiliar with this work? It had very good results, and did not use concept inventories for evaluation, but rather used a standard conventional exam. There is also a program from King's college called Thinking Maths which apparently has similar results, and is patterned like Shaye & Adey's program. For goodness sakes be familiar with these things. The UK has the same problems we are having in the US.
John M. Clement Houston, TX
> > So. John Clement has now directed *me* to "[t]ry the Lawson > test." Does anyone else find it odd that he persists in > expecting others to do his research for him? Besides that, > if I were interested in conducting research in phuzzy physics > education, I would probably be writing to a physics education > list, rather than to math-learn. >