Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Automobiles--Maintenance and repair--Study and teaching; Automobile mechanics--Education; Physics--Study and teaching;


The purpose of this study has been to develop information that may be useful in the preparation of curriculums and materials dedicated to the remediation of applied physics knowledge and skill deficits demonstrated by entering automotive technology students. The problem was to identify and rank-order the importance of applied physics concepts within the mechanical, fluidal, electrical/electronic, thermal, and chemical domains that are foundational to training in automotive technology.

A questionnaire containing 77 concept statements with a corresponding graphic rating scale was administered via mailed correspondence to all 196 of California's full-time community college automotive instructors. Of these, 130 (66.33%) were returned. For each survey item, a response frequency distribution, high-to-low response percentage value, mean value, and standard deviation was calculated. Concept statements were then rank-ordered by high-to-low response percentage value within groups and overall. Response frequency distributions for each survey item were then analyzed for statistical significance against a Chi square distribution at the.01 level. Rank-order amongst groups was established using grand mean values.

Results found 67 questionnaire items rated as important prerequisites to training in automotive technology. Of these 21 were critically important. The category rated as having the greatest importance was electrical/electronic, followed closely by mechanical, at a distance by fluidal, with chemical and thermal nearer the bottom. Both theoretical and applied concepts within the electrical/electronic group were ranked as important. Within the remaining four areas, however, theoretical knowledges and skills were found to have low importance.

Conclusions of this study are: (a) learning success of automotive technology students is positively related to pre-course knowledges and skills in applied physics; (b) the high to low rank-order of curricular emphasis amongst the five applied physics domains is electrical/electronics, mechanical, fluidal, chemical, and thermal; (c) entering automotive technology students should possess fundamental applied knowledges in all five applied physics areas while (d) important theoretical knowledges and skills appear to be concentrated in the electrical/electronic domain.

Recommendations include: (a) applied physics coursework should be a prerequisite to automotive training and (b) remedial coursework in applied physics should be a part of the automotive technology curriculum.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Industrial Technology


Department of Industrial Technology

First Advisor

Rex W. Pershing, Advisor

Second Advisor

Charles D. Johnson, Co-Advisor

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vi, 158 pages)



File Format