teaching

The Make-Believe World of Real-World Physics (Eric Mazur)

July 26, 2008

[[AAPT Millikan Lecture: Eric Mazur]] Eric Mazur (Harvard) was awarded the Millikan prize this year, and this blog post is a detailed account of the marvelous keynote lecture he gave for the occasion. You can download the entire presentation on his website, and I recommend that you do so, because, well, it was marvelous! The […]

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Is Pluto further away than the stars?

July 26, 2008

I’ve just posted a new episode of my Science Teaching Tips podcast — Which is Closest? Which is farthest away from the earth, the stars or Pluto? The answer may be obvious to you, but a lot of people get this wrong.  Here’s the task — arrange these in the order from closest to furthest […]

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Talk to your students (OR giving up power in the classroom)

July 24, 2008

[[PERC Talk, Fostering science learning in diverse urban settings, Kenneth Tobin, CUNY]] Dr.Tobin told us the story of when he plunged into a challenging experiment – to teach high school physics in urban Philadelphia. It was, needless to say, a challenge. He was an older white Australian, in a classroom with at-risk African American youth. […]

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Physics in the virtual world

July 22, 2008

[[AAPT Session: Study of Computer Simulations — Interface design for engagement, learning and assessment, Wendy Adams]] You know, when I first arrived at the University of Colorado, everyone was talking about these PhET Simulations that showed virtual versions of real physics phenomena, and I was really skeptical. Why simulate physics when you can go out […]

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How do we teach our physics majors?

July 22, 2008

[[AAPT SESSION: TRANSFORMING UPPER-DIVISION E&M I]] This post is primarily for college physics teachers. Hey, if you’re ever presiding over a conference session, here’s a tip for you. If one of your presenters has technical issues, don’t give her a hard time after the talk is over, even in jest, about having gone over time. […]

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Tutorials in Upper-division Mechanics

July 21, 2008

[[AAPT Session: Tutorials in Upper-division Mechanics]] This post is mostly directed towards college teachers. I just went to a session with Brad Ambrose from Grand Valley State University (in Michigan). Along with Michael Wittman from U. Maine, he’s developed tutorials for teaching college-level mechanics. All his materials can be downloaded at http://perlnet.umaine.edu/imt/index.html. Tutorials are a […]

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That sounds good!

July 20, 2008

I just posted a new episode of my Science Teaching Tips podcast.  Exploratorium staff physicist Thomas Humphrey divulges a clever way to measure the speed of sound, and he explains how he’s used that information to measure things in the world.

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The Value of Support (First year stories in teaching)

July 13, 2008

I just posted a new episode of my Science Teaching Tips podcast — especially for new teachers. This one features a veteran teacher telling his story of his first year of teaching, and how his supportive department was very useful in adjusting.

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