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Title: Why Should I Care?: Teaching Physics to Non-Believers
Url: http://www.physics.toronto.edu/dept-items/colloquium/feb0807colloquium
Creator: Thorne, Robert E.
Publisher: University of Toronto. Dept. of Physics
Description: Introductory physics courses targeting life science and premedical students are as challenging to teach as they are to take. Most students enroll in these courses to fulfill a requirement, and are anxious about the challenges that they will face. Many have little idea how these courses relate to their future professional and personal needs and aspirations. Faculty who teach these courses feel strong pressure from both the University and their students to deliver a high quality product, and typically invest far more time and energy in them than in their courses for physics majors. Yet these heroic efforts are invariably "rewarded" by far harsher student evaluations. I will argue that these courses are in fact the "canary in the coal mine" signaling the failure of our traditional modes of instruction. Unlike physics majors and other "true believers," who are able to achieve subject mastery with little guidance or motivation, connecting with non-believers requires faculty to actually teach. Traditional instruction may drive many gifted students out of physics, and may account in part for the tremendous attrition of women and minorities from physics between high school and university graduation. I will describe a variety of strategies to more fully engage non-believers, to convey to them the power and excitement of physics, and to address common psychological issues that affect student attitudes to and performance in physics.
LC Classification: Education -- Theory and practice of education -- Education and training of teachers and administrators
Education -- Theory and practice of education -- Higher education -- Curriculum
Education -- Theory and practice of education -- Secondary education. High school teaching -- Individual branches -- Science
Science -- Physics -- Study and teaching. Research
GEM Subject: Science -- Physics
Key Concept: Physics
Key Concepts Complete: Yes
Date Issued: 2007-02-08
Resource Type: Demonstrations
Reading Materials
Format: html
mp3
pdf
ppt
Audience: College/University Instructors
Higher Education
Secondary Education
Teachers
Technical School First Cycle
Technical School Second Cycle
University First Cycle
University Postgrad
University Second Cycle
Vocational Training
Language: English
Rights: University of Toronto
Access Rights: Free access
Date Of Record Release: 2010-06-25 03:00:02 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2011-08-25 12:32:26 (W3C-DTF)
Source Type: ATE Center
Source: NetWorks
Full Record Views: 67
Resource URL Clicks: 10
Cumulative Rating: NOT YET RATED
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