[IAEP] Physics - Lesson plans ideas?

K. K. Subramaniam subbukk at gmail.com
Sun Aug 16 11:37:39 EDT 2009

On Sunday 16 Aug 2009 9:42:39 am Bill Kerr wrote:
> Is there are real danger of students getting the wrong idea about science
> from using the physics program? I'm not really sure - some will, some won't
> - but I think my students see it as a game type program rather than a
> reality show. Their spontaneous response was to make games with it.
The risk here is one of distraction. Models on computers are no different from 
pictorial models in books. Science is not like literature to be studied from 
books or like a Magic show to be entertained through mis-direction. Scientific 
study is rooted in experience that motivates one to think deeper (what? as in 
experimental science or why? as in theoretical sciences). An event that 
entertains but does not lead to contemplation is no different from a Magic 
show. It is easy for a young learner to get mis-directed and miss the 
essential events.

> The issue of teaching real science depends on awareness. I don't see a
> science simulator as a bad thing in itself. Easy fun rather than hard fun
> (Seymour) but should all fun be hard? I don't think so.  Much of this
> thread has been about adding science simulator like features to physics
There is nothing wrong in having fun - hard or soft. But it would be a mistake 
for teachers, parents or volunteers to confuse affective entertainment with 
learning processes.

BTW, those who think pendulum swing times doesn't depend on the weight should 
try experiments with same sized balls made of cotton and metal.


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