Mr Nico Lemmer (North-West University (Potchefstroom))
Alternative conceptions are a perennial problem in physics education. The problem can be approached from different historically predominant theoretical frameworks, e.g. the empirist-behaviorist and constructivist frameworks. A hypothesis of the learning process in physics is proposed, termed the cognitive refinement model. It identifies three levels of learning, viz. perceptual, conceptual and formal. Its implications for the physics curriculum are discussed with illustrative examples emanating from physics education research.