• Eva Treiber
Physics competitions like the German Physics Olympiad aim at strengthening students' interest in physics, fostering their physics competencies and contributing to ensure a sufficient amount of personnel in the field of STEM. However, if participants get negative feedback on their performance, for instance by failing early in the competition, they might conclude that they are not good enough at physics. This could harm their physics self-concept and let them turn to other domains, so the competitions' goals would be missed. Additionally, to solve the tasks in the German Physics Olympiad, both physics and mathematics knowledge is needed. So, students’ failure could be due to a lack of the physics or mathematics knowledge required. Using the German Physics Olympiad as an example, this dissertation investigates: whether mathematical requirements can indeed be a problem in physics competitions, which causes participants perceive as relevant for their competition result, and how their self-concept is affected. In a first study, sample solutions of tasks used in the German Physics Olympiad are analyzed to identify their mathematical requirements. In a second study, the identified mathematical requirements are compared to Gymnasium mathematics curricula from four federal states to estimate to what extent the participants should be expected to possess the needed mathematics knowledge. A third study examines the participants’ perception of the causes of their competitions result, i.e. qualifying or not qualifying for the next selection round (hereafter referred to as attributions). Additionally, relationships between the participants’ attributions and their physics as well as mathematics self-concept are investigated.
Original languageGerman
Place of PublicationKiel
Number of pages197
Publication statusPublished - 06.2020

    Research areas

  • Attribution, Fostering talented students, Mathematics in physics, Self-concept, Science competitions for students

ID: 1382920