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Overcoming University Students’ Alternative Conceptions in Newtonian Mechanics

Students’ alternative frameworks and prior conceptions about interactions forces «traditionally, known as Newton's third law» have been largely investigated. The various investigations clearly show that students very often fail to apply Newton’s laws of motion in general to everyday situations and third law in particular. This study highlights some of the serious difficulties students undergo with reciprocal interactions and circular motions, taking advantage of previous studies and/or surveys we managed to reveal and identify a wide range of misconceptions among students, enabling teachers to set appropriate strategies to overcome them. Closely related to students’ misconceptions in Newton’s law of motion, there are still serious difficulties facing students to differentiate between real and fictitious forces, especially when tackling dynamics problems involving circular motion. An approach to teaching mutual interactions and the meaning of centripetal force is suggested that focuses on reconsidering and/or refining students' intuitive thinking on the nature of mutual interactions. However, the essence of this argument is that the teaching of science is not a process by which the wrong ideas are substituted by the correct ones; but students should know where they went wrong and why.

Overcoming, Difficulties, Misconceptions, Interactions, Students, Centripetal Force

APA Style

Ahcene Serhane, Mahdi Debieche, Boudhar Karima, Abdelhamid Zeghdaoui. (2020). Overcoming University Students’ Alternative Conceptions in Newtonian Mechanics. American Journal of Networks and Communications, 9(2), 22-29.

ACS Style

Ahcene Serhane; Mahdi Debieche; Boudhar Karima; Abdelhamid Zeghdaoui. Overcoming University Students’ Alternative Conceptions in Newtonian Mechanics. Am. J. Netw. Commun. 2020, 9(2), 22-29. doi: 10.11648/j.ajnc.20200902.12

AMA Style

Ahcene Serhane, Mahdi Debieche, Boudhar Karima, Abdelhamid Zeghdaoui. Overcoming University Students’ Alternative Conceptions in Newtonian Mechanics. Am J Netw Commun. 2020;9(2):22-29. doi: 10.11648/j.ajnc.20200902.12

Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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