Teaching and learning quantum mechanics is one of the most demanding educational and conceptual challenges, in particular in secondary schools where students do not possess an adequate mathematical background to effectively support the description of quantum behaviour. Educational research shows that traditional approaches, generally based on historical and narrative perspectives, are only partially effective. The reason is that they do not address in depth those basic quantum concepts that radically question the fundamentals of classical physics. A research-based educational program has been proposed to two final-year classes of an Italian scientific high school. In order to build the main concepts of quantum mechanics and their formal basic representation via real and simulated experiments, the program uses the light polarization as a context. A quantum game was then integrated in the educational program, to support students’ learning. Their conceptual paths, monitored by means of tutorials and questionnaires, show significant student learning especially on the concept of state and on appropriating the formalism meaning, whereas students more frequently referred to the geometrical vector representation instead of the algebraic-analytic formula. The quantum game has emerged to support intuition and operative experience in distinguishing the foundational concepts of superposition and entanglement.

An experiential program on the foundations of quantum mechanics for final-year high-school students

Stefanel A.;Santi L.;Michelini M.
2023-01-01

Abstract

Teaching and learning quantum mechanics is one of the most demanding educational and conceptual challenges, in particular in secondary schools where students do not possess an adequate mathematical background to effectively support the description of quantum behaviour. Educational research shows that traditional approaches, generally based on historical and narrative perspectives, are only partially effective. The reason is that they do not address in depth those basic quantum concepts that radically question the fundamentals of classical physics. A research-based educational program has been proposed to two final-year classes of an Italian scientific high school. In order to build the main concepts of quantum mechanics and their formal basic representation via real and simulated experiments, the program uses the light polarization as a context. A quantum game was then integrated in the educational program, to support students’ learning. Their conceptual paths, monitored by means of tutorials and questionnaires, show significant student learning especially on the concept of state and on appropriating the formalism meaning, whereas students more frequently referred to the geometrical vector representation instead of the algebraic-analytic formula. The quantum game has emerged to support intuition and operative experience in distinguishing the foundational concepts of superposition and entanglement.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11390/1244165
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