The design of activities based on cognitive scaffolding to teach physics
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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019. All rights reserved. Physics education research has produced many educational strategies such as Peer Instruction, Tutorials in Introductory Physics, and Real-Time Physics which one of the main objectives is to help students organize a better knowledge structure. For some settings, because equipment is needed for some of those strategies, then they are difficult to implement. This contribution recommends designing cognitive scaffolding activities without equipment in order to help students to choose the right scientific concept for the problem at hand. Cognitive scaffolding activities include strategies (i.e., by pumping questions) that help students reflect, think, or conceptualize. I present the framework in what the activities are based and describe a process of the construction of an activity for the understanding of the superposition principle applied to electric fields in a typical electricity and magnetism, first-year university course. At the end I present results implementing the activity with students by showing students' responses and reasoning to a problem in a midterm exam.