[IAEP] Physics - Lesson plans ideas?

Alan Kay alan.nemo at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 23 11:51:36 EDT 2009

Joshua Pritikin wrote
>To me, it just doesn't seem black and white. There must be a whole 
>spectrum of learning experiences of greater and lesser pedagogical 

There is indeed a spectrum, but what counts is where the threshold is drawn. An analogy can be found in music wrt (say) guitar playing. On one side are many kinds of actually playing the guitar and on the other are air guitar and guitar hero and some ways of dealing with a real guitar instrument that are below threshold for "playing and learning real guitar".

If we could get people to forget bad ideas and practices then this wouldn't be such a critical issue. Since this is really difficult in so many ways, it is really important to help them learn the real deal in ways that are as additive as possible and don't require extensive efforts to undo. Not that everything in cognitive learning is exactly parallel to physical learning ... but so much is that it is well worth it for all teachers to look at exemplary sports pedagogy and curriculum design, particularly in really difficult skills like hitting a baseball and serving in tennis.

"Outlooks" are particularly difficult to dislodge once formed (and we have a lot of human biology that is very biased towards outlooks that are not harmonius with the scientific outlook).

Best wishes,


From: Joshua N Pritikin <jpritikin at pobox.com>
To: Alan Kay <alan.nemo at yahoo.com>
Cc: iaep SugarLabs <iaep at lists.sugarlabs.org>
Sent: Sunday, August 23, 2009 8:13:08 AM
Subject: Re: [IAEP] Physics - Lesson plans ideas?

On Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 08:41:40PM -0700, Alan Kay wrote:
> The important thing about what the computer does in this case -- 
> repeated incremental additions -- is that the children can and do 
> carry it out themselves.

Well, perhaps gravity is an ideal topic to teach for this age group. 

However, I still believe that less than ideal pedagogical topics can 
contribute to an understanding of scientific inquiry.

To me, it just doesn't seem black and white. There must be a whole 
spectrum of learning experiences of greater and lesser pedagogical 

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