Dot Physics

Thinking about teaching physics

Sometimes (ok – just once) I get asked for recommendations about reading material on the ideas of teaching physics. I used to recommend Arnold Arons book on teaching introductory physics. Still, that is a classic and a great resource. However, there is a better one.

Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite – Edward Redish

Originally, this was kind of like the instructor’s manual that went with one of the big name intro-physics books (maybe the new version of Halliday and Resnick). But this book is way more than an instructor’s manual. What is even better is that it is online and free (see link above). I don’t know if it is supposed to be online for free, but that is on Redish’s site – so just don’t tell anyone.

I like this book because it is a clear and straightforward approach to the issues of teaching and learning in physics. I actually recommend this text for chemistry faculty also (chemists are people too).


  1. #1 Sili
    May 27, 2010

    (chemists are people too)

    That’s mighty white of you.

    ::makes note::

    Just got hired to teach first year chem and first and second year maths next semester.

  2. #2 John K.
    May 27, 2010

    Thanks for this info. I already had the Aron’s book and just accepted my first full-time position today to teach physics and physical science.

  3. #3 Frank Noschese
    May 27, 2010

    Don’t forget about Randy Knight’s “Five Easy Lessons:”

    Or even the instructor’s manual for his intro textbooks (algebra and calc-based).

  4. #4 Stephanie Chasteen
    June 21, 2010

    I second the recommendation of Redish — that’s my number one reference for physics education information. Another great one is How People Learn, which summarizes all we know about learning in general (from the National Academies).

  5. #5 Melvin Goldstein
    November 26, 2010

    There are “Physics Foibles”. Understanding the foibles has helped.

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