There has been a lot of effort to try to figure out how to teach physics better, at the university level, in the US.

Of course, we know perfectly well how to do that.

To teach physics well, you provide an intensive, mathematically rigorous in-sequence series of classes.
You need at least two different parallel classes per term, each class a prerequisite for the succeeding class and coordinated syllabii for parallel and successive classes, providing an initial short review of the previous material.
You also need a parallel sequence of coordinated mathematics classes, such that the mathematics needed for a physics class are taught before it is needed for the physics.

The base presentation can be done by lecture, there is a role for such.
However, in parallel with such you need two further teaching elements:
you need labs, which are on the same material as the lectures, and which are in sequence with the lecture material, ie you do a lab on a topic right after it is presented in lecture;
further, you need weekly, or twice weekly, “tutorials”, where 2-5 students, no more, meet individually with faculty for an hour, or so, and discuss the material in depth.
Attendance being mandatory, of course. Participation also.

This also requires frequent written homework – weekly, in fact, which is graded promptly so students can be provided with feedback and corrections.
Further, the homework should be long, math intensive questions.

To reinforce learning and retention, exams should not generally be during term time, or in class – exams should be long written finals, at the end of term, or even in subsequent terms.
No multiple choice questions; few, if any, short answer questions; long questions requiring 20-60 minute answers per question.

This works well.
It is how the physicists of the golden era learned, it is how many senior physicists of the current generation learned.

You do this at selective universities, recruiting from the top 10% of the student population, as measured by some broad correlator for general achievement, preferably not a multiple choice test.
Further, you insists on only admitting students with strong K-12 preparation: that means calculus 1-3 years before university, and several years of introductory physics.

This works.
It is wasteful, you lose most of the students who never got the right preparation but who might have been good.
It educates physicists. Not engineers, or pre-meds.

It is also incredibly expensive.
It is labour intensive, and requires a very low student/faculty ratio, large numbers of faculty for a small number of majors.

But it works.

So… the debate about teaching physics is not about how to teach physics, it is about two very different things.

1) Can we provide effective cheap mass education in the physical sciences?
Given that we can’t afford tutorials etc., can we provide the same improvement in technical ability and comprehension with large modular classes, taught out of sequence with streamlined testing, but using technology and cognitive tools for improved pedagogy?

Well, no.
But, we can do a lot better than dumb lectures and we ought to do as well as we can.
Particularly for general education – education of students who need basic physics comprehension but are not intended physics majors.

2) Can we extricate additional physics majors from the general pool, at cheap universities?

Well, yes.
We always have. While a disproportionate fraction of physics majors and research physicists come from the expensive resource rich exclusive universities, there is always a steady stream of students who essentially self-educate – who have the smarts and intensity to excel given the slightest access to real education opportunity.

And, we all suspect that for each student like that, there are many who would do as well given a bit of a nudge, or who could be not alienated from the subject at some earlier stage.

Any improvement in teaching anywhere along the line which increased the flow of physicists would be well worth it.

The real goal is still part 1) – trying to implant real comprehension, a feel for physics, in a broader non-physics audience. Smart good students who need to know physics at a much deeper level than is generally reached.
This is very hard to do, and I suspect that while “gimmicks” help, and certainly understanding cognitive tasks helps, success will be limited.
Got to try though.

Chad chimes in

Comments

  1. #1 Andrew
    June 7, 2011

    “Syllabii” is NOT the plural of “syllabus”. The usual plural is “syllabuses” and if you really must do it the Latin way then it’s “syllabi”. The extra ‘i’ only appears in words like “radii” whose singular form ends in -ius. It’s best not to, though, unless the Latin plural is well-established in English, as (for example) the Latin word “virus” is already plural and therefore “viruses” is the only acceptable plural of the English word “virus”.

    I don’t like to pick on spelling, but this sort of pretentious insistence on using Latin without bothering to understand it first really gets on my nerves. English is a perfectly good language. Use it.

  2. #2 Michael Richmond
    June 7, 2011

    At my school, the questions about “teaching physics” have never been about producing the next generation’s Nobel Prize candidates. Instead, it focuses on the item you listed as

    education of students who need basic physics comprehension but are not intended physics majors

    The great majority of the hundreds of students in our classes are either engineers (calculus track) or life-sciences majors (algebra track). The institute pays attention only to the rate at which students pass the classes. The reason the job is difficult is because we want to maintain some sort of standards.

    So the real question, I would say, is something like this: how can we design classes which both satisfy the needs of the students and administration (pass >= 80% of the students) while at the same time giving those students who are motivated the information they need to understand the material? Oh, and do it with the available resources.

  3. #3 pjcamp
    June 7, 2011

    This is not how you “teach physics.” It is how you filter out people who have taught physics to themselves from the general population of students. It is not what works. It is what appears to work while requiring the least amount of effort on the part of the instructor.

    In fact, it isn’t really how one teaches anything, and there is a vast body of scientific research on this subject. You could start with the National Academy of Science publication “How People Learn” which you can read for free on their web site. Since it has been available for over 10 years now, I should think anyone who claims to have an interest in how to teach would have run across it already.

    Pointing out that this is how the Einstein’s and Fermi’s of the world learned physics is simply elitist claptrap. Essentially, you’ve argued for physics as a priesthood to which only the worthy need aspire.

    This argument seems to be founded entirely on personal authority and in a total absence of knowledge (or even awareness of) the relevant scientific research.

    It may well be the most ignorant thing I’ve ever read.

  4. #4 Eric Lund
    June 7, 2011

    Michael @2 is right. When most physics departments worry about teaching quality, they are correctly concerned about students who need to take an introductory physics sequence but plan never to take another physics course after that. At my present university, only ~5% of the students who take one of the introductory physics sequences go on to major in physics. Even at my undergraduate alma mater, one of the elite institutions you refer to, the fraction of eventual physics majors among students taking one of the introductory sequences is less than 10%. You would probably have to look at SLACs in order to find a university where that percentage gets noticeably higher, and that’s mainly because most such schools don’t have engineering programs. I know of no evidence (admittedly, I’m not familiar with the physics education literature) that focusing on the non-majors actually harms students who major in physics.

  5. #5 secretseasons
    June 7, 2011

    “Of course, we know perfectly well how to do that.”

    You’ve made no argument that “the physicists of the golden era” wouldn’t have been even better with different teaching.

    Because that’s the way we did it in the past isn’t a scientific justification for your work in research, so why do so many accept it as justification in teaching?

    I have to hope that the entire beginning of this post is poorly tongue-in-cheek because otherwise I have to agree with other commenters that it displays stunning privilege (and lack of awareness of that privilege), ignorance of the issues in learning and teaching, and yes, elitism.

  6. #6 Mike Olson
    June 7, 2011

    I enjoyed reading this and have only one issue. I firmly believe that as things stand and have stood for a very long time, kids that succeed in K-12 most frequently are those who are most like their teachers. Generally, anymore, this means in personality and outlook. There are few teachers K-12 that teach towards those who have an interest in or the personality of, those who tend to succeed in science. In many schools it isn’t until the last year or two high school that such teachers present themselves. Even in university, finding persons who inspire or understand what it takes can be hard to find. My whole point is that your plan is a good one. But, we really need to re-vamp our entire educational system, which would require a different cultural viewpoint and that could take some real doing. Personally, I think the Finns are on the right track.

  7. #7 Steinn Sigurdsson
    June 7, 2011

    @Andrew – English is not a perfectly good language, it is, famously, more akin to a cribhouse whore which mugs other languages and rifles their pockets for pretty new words.

    OED states either syllabi or syllabuses are acceptably usage for the plural, my personal feeling is that “syllabuses” is not a word and I try to avoid it.

    I am very very very sorry about the “ii”, if only because it rationalised an internet spelling flame of the old school.
    I spend entirely too much of my life writing about radii.

  8. #8 Steinn Sigurdsson
    June 7, 2011

    @Michael @Eric – my point precisely – most physics teaching is, as I say, about 1) teaching to achieve effective comprehension of physics for non-majors in large “cheap” classes.
    However, the reality is that most physics departments are trying to structure their classes to keep their major going, which means teaching at a different pace, different level and with different emphasis.
    Maths has the same problem, and to a significant excess solves it by splitting up classes – the pure math focus is different from the applied math. There has also been a trend to the departments being serviced subsuming the education, with “Math Methods” taught in physics, and “Engineering Physics” taught in engineering departments.

    And Michael – there is a zone between “next Nobel Laureate” and “pre-med wanting to satisfy minimum physics requirement” where one is educating physicists, physics majors with liberal education, who will enter a range of occupations that are enjoyable and lucrative for the students and in social demand.

  9. #9 Steinn Sigurdsson
    June 7, 2011

    @pj – I’m hurt, my numerous Turkish correspondents assure me in the comments that this is the best post they have ever seen…

    So: this IS how you teach physics, well. It is one way to do so.
    I believe I used the words “selective” “expensive” and “wasteful” with full deliberation.
    The “traditional way” is also very very labour intensive, it is NOT by any means the least effort way. In fact it is not used much any more, because it unaffordable at most universities.

    The least effort way, which is what a lot of intro classes use in practise, is large lectures, rigid from the book sylabus, ad hoc introduction of math as needed, uncoordinated labs, if any, and no attempt small group instruction.
    Which is NOT what I described.

    There is a lot of research on how to do this better, Chad discusses some of that in the link above (which I added after he wrote it, and which links in turn to an actual discussion he had of pedagogy).

    For example, “engagement” basically tries to do in-class peer tutoring and force students to read beyond the syllabus. It costs – topic coverage is narrower, organization required is much higher. I am dubious about whether it is actually that much more effective, because I worry about retention and comprehension – I contend that multiple choice and short answer quizzes are ineffective measurements of learning.

    Oh, and I am not arguing for physics as an elite – the whole purpose of that post was the contrary, tilting at strawmen is tireseome, doubly so on the internet.

    If you actually want to contribute to a discussion, as opposed to doing moderately impressive ranting after grossly misreading, then you could, for example, tell us about actual effective teaching methods you have used in large classes with limited resources that are as good or better than the tutorial sysem.
    Please.

  10. #10 Steinn Sigurdsson
    June 7, 2011

    @secretseasons – this here is a very serious blog, I never joke around, as you should be able to tell from the title of the post.

    It is conceivable that the Old Boys could have been better physicists, I did not asset that the traditional method is the best – merely that it demonstrably worked. I also listed its flaws.

    I explicitly discussed the wastefulness and selectivity of the traditional method, it is elitists, that is not inherently bad, but undesireable for broader reasons. I teach at a large State University, we do not use tutorials, we do not have the resources to do so.

    Oh, and in research “the way we did it in the past” is the starting point – in the fundamentals: hypothesis, inference, test kinda stuff. The details of intstrumentation and technique are perturbations on the essentials. It takes a lot of proactive demonstration of utility to get fundamental new research concepts accepted.
    Education research might try to think about that.

    Science is very conservative in some essential ways.

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    June 7, 2011

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  12. #12 Michael Richmond
    June 7, 2011

    And Michael – there is a zone between “next Nobel Laureate” and “pre-med wanting to satisfy minimum physics requirement” where one is educating physicists, physics majors with liberal education, who will enter a range of occupations that are enjoyable and lucrative for the students and in social demand.

    I agree that this zone exists. Alas, here where I work, this zone is so small compared to the zone of “students who are simply satisfying a science requirement” that it gets very little attention (and few resources). I’m not a part of the Physics Education Research community, but several of my colleagues are; from what I can see, this “physics-major” zone is also a relatively small fraction of the PER effort.

  13. #13 Jesse
    June 7, 2011

    OK, I think I can add a bit to the curricula issue.

    I learned physics 20 years ago. I started as a physics major.

    But the disconnect between math and physics was pretty bad. For example, I never knew at all what the hell bra-ket notation even meant — I had never, ever seen it in my math classes. (I was on vector calc I think when I saw my firs schrodinger equation). My math teachers sort of pretended physics didn’t exist. We were doing matrix equations, but the notations looked all different and there was never any explanation.

    So it meant that a whole class of problems was simply opaque to me.

    I struggled through a B- in that modern (3rd semester) phys class, but after that I switched majors. That wasn’t the only reason of course. But damn, it was years before I knew what was confusing me so because nobody bothered to tell me something that would have taken 2 minutes – and I had no idea what to ask. The textbook — math or physics — wasn’t any help, either.

    I bet I am not the only person this happened to.

  14. #14 dennis
    June 7, 2011

    I’m a night school adult ed teacher (who once thought of majoring in physics) and one thing I know for sure is that any improvement will come through the individual efforts of individual instructors in their own classes with their own students. That’s the amount of control we have. They can hire and fire us, but they don’t tell us what to do once in the class. So the best collective thing we can do is to help get in circulation more free resources that are available for instructors and thereby give them better toolboxes to work out of. By the way, education research is a waste of money. Teachers don’t pay attention to it. It’s an administrative pastime.

  15. #15 Andrew Shevchuk
    June 7, 2011

    I think re-evaluating what we’re teaching is at least as important as how we teach it. The series of mathematical formalisms currently taught to aspiring physicists appears to me needlessly complicated, disjointed, and definitely suboptimal. I’ve become very impressed with geometric algebra as a simple unified mathematical language for all of physics, and I think adopting it in the curriculum would improve our physical intuition and make it easier to teach and learn the subject. To anyone that’s interested, I would recommend Doran and Lasenby’s “Geometric Algebra for Physicists”.

  16. #16 Peter Erwin
    June 8, 2011

    English is not a perfectly good language, it is, famously, more akin to a cribhouse whore which mugs other languages and rifles their pockets for pretty new words.

    The correct quote is:
    “The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.” (James Nicoll)

    Which obviously has nothing to do with whether English is a “perfectly good” language.

    My personal feeling is that it’s (slightly) more sensible and natural to use the normal English plural form (+s or +es), once a given word has become part of the standard English vocabulary, than to pedantically insist on the original language’s form (like claiming that the plural of “octopus” should be “octopodes”). Then again, some of the latter are the accepted forms in English, and I admit that “radii” seems more normal to me than “radiuses”, even if my dictionary gives the latter as an alternative form.

  17. #17 Peter Erwin
    June 8, 2011

    Syllabii” is NOT the plural of “syllabus”. The usual plural is “syllabuses” and if you really must do it the Latin way then it’s “syllabi”.

    Actually, the origin of “syllabus” is a little obscure: it’s either a garbled Renaissance-era misreading of a different word in Cicero, or possibly an early Medieval Latin form whose plural would be “syllabūs” — see the discussion here. So the justification for “syllabi” as the “etymologically correct” plural form is shaky at best.

  18. #18 Douglas Duncan
    June 8, 2011

    Steinn Sigurdsson provides the same incomplete argument that has held back physics teaching for the 30 years I’ve been in the field. It is purely opinion, not data-based. I find it fascinating that scientists who in their “real” work read papers and pay attention to data feel free skip both those steps when it comes to teaching. In the same way Sigurdsson uses many body experiments in his regular research, he should pay attention to what many body experiments in physics teaching reveal.

    First off, it is entirely true that all some people need are lots of rigorous classes, homework, and labs and they become good physicists. Good teaching isn’t even necessary. As a candidate for a faculty position once said when asked, “What would you teach if you joined the UC Santa Cruz faculty?” “It doesn’t matter. If you are sufficiently good – like I am – you succeed no matter the quality of teaching.” (That person went on to fame and fortune, and a high-impact computer science career in the US. He was not offered the faculty position.)
    This argument, while true, is dangerously incomplete and suffers from the logical confusion between necessary and sufficient. It is often presented, “I am a good physicist. I became a physicist working hard on my own with some rigorous classes. Therefore a program like mine should be used to train all physicists.” This logical fallacy has tremendous negative consequences. Here are a few examples:
    1) One third of my Caltech classmates dropped out. Were they “poor” in science? Not at all. But the system made them feel that way as it served a small percentage and ignored many. Typically the dropouts transferred to other good schools, made excellent grades, and have had excellent careers. To say that you should teach future Feynmans and future Steve Jobs the same way is very narrow-minded. And though we all worship Feynman, a system that fails all the Steve Job’s is not good for the country.
    2) When we put on the first “Women in Astronomy” meeting nearly 20 years ago, Sheila Tobias (a sociologist who studies scientists) gave a talk in which she claimed that hiring, promotion, and tenure usually involve the current faculty meeting and saying to each other, “Are we not excellent? YES, WE ARE! and resolving to hire more like themselves. Her opinion was based on a rather small amount of data, but it is interesting that the Space Telescope faculty, just before that meeting, consisted of 42 tenured or tenure track faculty, and 42 were male! (After Neta Bahcall left and before Meg Urry and Anne Kinney joined the tenure track) There are scientists who are unlike you who are very good. A system that wastes their talents is a wasteful and unfair system.
    3) The landmark study of Seymour and Hewitt, “Talking About Leaving,” does have a lot of data. It followed and interviewed 335 science majors at 7 universities, half of whom quit a science major and half of whom graduated with a degree. Unlike what my physics professors told me, “The best people succeed and the others drop out,” there was NO difference in GPA or SAT scores between graduates and switchers. (I guess those professors were another example of confusing opinion with data.) What Seymour and Hewitt DID find what that satisfaction varied between those who stayed and those who switched major, and that mentoring had a big impact. Sigurdsson doesn’t address the topic of mentoring at all.

    Here at the University of Colorado (Mazur finds the same thing at Harvard) large-sample studies for ten years have shown that a much higher percentage of students can become good in physics than was assumed. The techniques of peer discussion, of tutorials that draw students attention to concepts that are known to be particularly difficult on the basis of physics education research, increase the amount and depth of understanding. You can test these students in double blind faculty oral exams, or on challenging tests based on student interviews, such as the Force Concept Inventory, the BEMA, or others. You find the same improvement. We’ve even given exams from 10 years ago. The class average is always up significantly. The data is extensive, and consistent.

    Interviews with faculty suggest that Sigurdsson’s kind of argument, while common, is probably not the most common faculty attitude. The most common is, “Gee, I’m already working 60 hours a week publishing as much as I can, and now you want me to improve my teaching and furthermore you won’t reward me if I do?” Faculty refuse and teaching stays the same, though it could improve. I suspect that a much higher percentage of faculty would improve teaching by using some of the methods presented at every AAPT meeting IF the system said it was important and rewarded them. Right now the system does not, and the country suffers tremendously for it. Not only do we lose plenty of good scientists and engineers in the pipeline, we haven’t even discussed how we teach the non-majors. If you think teaching the non-majors isn’t important, look at Congress and all the non-science majors there, and look at science funding in the US. Teaching that targets only a select few helped get us into the predicament we find ourselves in as a country. (that last was opinion!)

  19. #19 Steinn Sigurdsson
    June 8, 2011

    @Peter – I paraphrased the quote, did not have the exact at hand, do remember the day James said it on Usenet.
    As to the whole syllabi/syllabus issue – well, duh, English is an inconsistent hodgepodge hybrid with inconsistent grammatical rules, and I have very little patience for pedantry over such when they are explicitly ambiguous.

  20. #20 Steinn Sigurdsson
    June 8, 2011

    @Duncan – did you know the plural of anecdote is data?

    First of all, can I reiterate: the words “selective”, “expensive” and “wasteful” were used by me with all deliberation.

    Secondly, and PLEASE READ!, I explicitly said both that the known effective (NOT BEST) method involves small group tutorials! Which is the example you invoked – care to give me half dozen more examples of known effective techniques?
    AND , I noted that this is effective for teaching majors, whereas the PER research really is aimed at service courses and Gen Ed. Which is not the same.

    Finally: there are universities that have faculty with high teaching loads, little research and excellent outcome in physical science education – they have low student faculty ratios and cost $50k per year.
    We also know that having research active faculty is good, both for student retention and learning, better teaching (sometimes) and for society – university research in the sciences is a huge public good.
    That does not leave enough faculty time to do that intensive teaching. The solution is more faculty, which costs more.
    The big public Universities can not become SLAs the resources are not sufficient. The current model they’re looking at are for-profit Universities, and their teaching pedagogy really sucks.

  21. #21 Peter Erwin
    June 8, 2011

    well, duh, English is an inconsistent hodgepodge hybrid with inconsistent grammatical rules …

    Well, sure. Which makes English different from other languages… how, exactly? (Answer: not at all, really ;-)

  22. #22 Omega Centauri
    June 8, 2011

    I found it amusing to read “get the rigorous math in math classes BFORE its needed in physics”. I think back to my experience as a student 40 years ago, it was mostly reversed, the physics profs would give us a short intro to the needed math, usually non-rigorous and incomplete, just enough to advance to covering the physics. Then after that class was over, we would shy away from taking the math classes -because it would be a waste since we already knew subject X! But, at least for a personality type like mine (I’m highly intuitive and can do great stuff when intellectually motivated, but theorem-lemma-corrollary causes my eyes to glaze over within two pages!), would math first have been effective? I remember having math first in linear algebra, and my naive view of the world was that special types (symmetric pos definite, Hermitian, singlar…) must have a measure near zero in terms of the probablity of actually encountering them in the real world! So retention of that stuff was not what it should have been. So it is a difficult balancing act wrt. the maths. Learning motivation (for some at least) requires the student being able to imagine how he will be able to utilize the concepts, but that means the quickee non-rigorous use in physics must come first.

  23. #23 Mike Olson
    June 9, 2011

    Jennifer Oulette discusses in, “The Calculus Diaries,” a friend who initially fails in math and drops out of high school. I believe she mentions him as currently holding an advanced degree in Mathematics. I took heart in this because in her discussion his experience seems somewhat similar to mine in regards to perceptions of math. Simply put in most public schools years are spent on calculating and not math concepts. For some students being able to see the concepts behind the calculation has a great impact. Spending years on repetitive calculation destroys interest. I’ve always been quite able to concentrate for large periods at a time and can spend hours reading. But, it wasn’t until later in life, after I took a greater interest in math, that I realized there comes a point where “reading” math and “doing” math can be as interesting as a good novel. It is simply a matter of capturing a students interest and focusing on subject matter, rather than focusing on teaching structure, routine and behavioral discipline (as opposed to subject interest) as well as social conformity. High school was not unpleasant for me…but it also didn’t really teach me much.

  24. #24 Haelfix
    June 12, 2011

    One has to decide first what the purpose is.

    Are we looking to make tenure track level talents, or are we looking to educate the public?

    The latter is best served by courses like what Lenny Susskind has put out on the web. The former would be more at the level of the ‘Theoretical minimum’ alla Landau, and/or math/physics olympiad level as an early undergraduate.

    As a pretty self evident rule, the people who have a chance to make it as researchers are more or less elite from the getgo. Thats why when you are at these high school olympiads, you see more or less the people you will be working with as an adult. The simple fact is that it is elitist, but that’s just the way the world is.

    Anyway, as a general rule I am always for making curriculums more comprehensive and never dumbing it down for the masses. I feel like that has been the direction taken for the past 50 years in higher education, and it has only hurt the general quality of education. So yes, we should imo be shooting for a degree of rigor in the upper level classes that more closely resembles what the golden age professors were subject too.

  25. #25 Lab Lemming
    June 12, 2011

    Does this method of teaching physics give the physicists who learn it the tools necessary to apply their knowledge of physics to anything useful? Otherwise, you don’t need to teach physics at more than a handful of universities, because the demand for people who only know physics is likely to be small.

  26. #26 Robert Parson
    June 13, 2011

    Steinn Sigurdsson writes (@9):

    The “traditional way” is also very very labour intensive, it is NOT by any means the least effort way. In fact it is not used much any more, because it unaffordable at most universities.The least effort way, which is what a lot of intro classes use in practise, is large lectures, rigid from the book sylabus, ad hoc introduction of math as needed, uncoordinated labs, if any, and no attempt small group instruction. Which is NOT what I described.

    What we have here is a failure to communicate. I think the sticking point is that the PER community has defined the term “traditional instruction” to mean more or less what you have called “the least effort way” – a tradition that dates back to the founding of the first research universities in the United States in the late 19th century – whereas you refer to a much older tradition. I don’t think many people dispute that the “expert tutor” model is the most effective approach to science education ever developed, and Oxbridge-style tutorials achieve this goal as well as anyone ever has.

    For example, “engagement” basically tries to do in-class peer tutoring and force students to read beyond the syllabus. It costs – topic coverage is narrower, organization required is much higher. I am dubious about whether it is actually that much more effective, because I worry about retention and comprehension – I contend that multiple choice and short answer quizzes are ineffective measurements of learning.

    I disagree, strongly. I will readily concede that there is more to learning than can be captured by multiple choice and short-answer quizzes. But these assessments, (FCI, BEMA, etc.) have, in my opinion, conclusively demonstrated that interactive engagement is superior to the (US-traditional) model of lectures supplemented by TA-led recitations.

    —Robert

  27. #27 nanomatik
    June 17, 2011

    Does this method of teaching physics give the physicists who learn it the tools necessary to apply their knowledge of physics to anything useful? Otherwise, you don’t need to teach physics at more than a handful of universities, because the demand for people who only know physics is likely to be small.

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