Physics knowledge justification: an analysis framework to examine physics content knowledge

  • Karoliina Vuola University of Helsinki
  • Maija Nousiainen University of Helsinki


Argumentation and knowledge justification have been noted as important skills to be learned in secondary

and tertiary level of education. These skills are especially crucial in teaching and learning physics

because physics knowledge is normative and has hierarchical structure. The purpose of this article is

two-fold. First, we propose a framework to analyze pre-service physics teachers’ knowledge justification.

Second, we show how this framework can be used to examine pre-service physics teachers’ knowledge

justification in the context of quantum physics. The sample consists of 68 knowledge justification schemes

on four quantum phenomena (N=17 participants who all produced four schemes). The proposed

framework discusses conceptual, relational and strategic knowledge presented in knowledge justification

schemes. The results show that analysis framework reveal significant differences between pre-service

teachers’ knowledge justification. We conclude that there is need and room for such practical tools,

which help future teachers to organize and consider their own knowledge.

Author Biography

Maija Nousiainen, University of Helsinki
Department of Physics