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Analysis of Special Relativity Theory in High School Physics Textbooks Under the 2009 and the 2015 Revised Curricula
New Phys.: Sae Mulli 2018; 68: 1069~1080
Published online October 31, 2018;
© 2018 New Physics: Sae Mulli.

Sangwoo HA*

Gyeonggi Science High School for the Gifted, Suwon 16297, Korea
Correspondence to:
Received June 12, 2018; Revised August 21, 2018; Accepted August 27, 2018.
cc This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
In this study, we developed an analytical frame based on the results of physics education research concerning special relativity theory (SRT) and analyzed eight kinds of high school physicsI textbooks under the 2009 and the 2015 revised curricula. From the results of this study, we suggest the points that should be considered for a better description of SRT. We found that the students' difficulties in relation to the SRT need to be reflected from the perspective of Einstein's relativity hypothesis, the distinction between event occurrence and cognition, and the paradox of SRT. On the one hand, the strategy that was mainly dealt with in the textbooks to remove abstraction from the relativity of simultaneity was the use of event diagrams. Muon, and GPS examples were most frequently treated as experimental evidence for SRT. We suggest that the cognitive levels of high school students should be considered when we describe SRT in textbook.
PACS numbers: 01.40.Fk
Keywords: Special relativity theory, High school physics textbooks, Students' difficulties, Relativity of simultaneity

January 2019, 69 (1)
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