Document Type


Publication Date

January 2013


For over 30 years, researchers have investigated students’ ideas about energy with the intent of reforming instructional practice. In this pursuit, Watts contributed an influential study with his 1983 paper “Some alternative views of energy” [Phys. Educ. 18, 213 (1983)]. Watts’ “alternative frameworks” continue to be used for categorizing students’ non-normative ideas about energy. Using a resources framework, we propose an alternate analysis of student responses from Watts’ interviews. In our analysis, we show how students’ activated resources about energy are disciplinarily productive. We suggest that fostering seeds of scientific understandings in students’ ideas about energy may play an important role in their development of scientific literacy.


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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.