Comparative study of students performance in Newtonian physics

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Teaching Major in Physics


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


Science Education

Thesis Adviser

Joseph Scheiter, FSC

Defense Panel Chair

Lydia S. Roleda

Defense Panel Member

Maricar S. Prudente
Mel Greg Concepcion
Voltaire M. Mistades


The study highlighted the difference of the G11 and H4 students performance in Newtonian physics using pre and post test scores. The G11 students came from the new K-12 curriculum which followed the spiral approach of science teaching, while the H4 students came from the old RBEC which followed the linear approach. Both groups took Newtonian physics simultaneously in school year 2015-2016, but had different physics exposure from G8 to G10 and H1 to H3.

Force Concept Inventory (FCI) pre and post tests were given to the students before and after proper discussion of Newtonian physics. Pre-test results revealed that the H4 students outperformed the G11 students in majority of the items in Kinematics, Forces, 1st Law and 3rd Law of Motion. Some possible reasons were the topics taken by the H4 in the previous years and that H4 had a greater number of physics major science teachers than the G11 students. The post test revealed that the G11 students were able to catch up with the H4 students for there was no significant difference in the average mean scores. Normalized gain revealed that the G11 students under the spiral approach learned more in Newtonian physics than the H4 students at p < 0.05. This might be caused by the competency, qualifications and seniority of the physics teachers and the number of years the students was taking physics (G8 to 10).

Potential differential item functioning was also used to analyze the scores. Students were matched according to the FCI pre and post tests. In pretest, it was seen that the H4 students understood most items in Kinematics in H1 better than the G11 students which was consistent with the t-test. While on the post test, it showed that the G11 students understood Kinematics and the three Laws of Motion better than the H4 students.

The study revealed that the spiral approach of teaching physics was better than the old linear approach. Factors affecting students performance were also identified and recommendation on teacher training, higher education and team teaching were considered by the institution. Allocation of topics in G8 to G10 was also reviewed by the teachers and administration has had concrete information on the status of spiraling in the institution.

The study aimed to strengthen physics education in the institution by giving feedback to what the program offered to the students and the teachers. Strengthening the teachers, means strengthening the students, therefore strengthening the institution. Learners of the 21st century will be holistically competitive locally and globally.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computer disc ; 4 3/4 in.


Physics--Study and teaching

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