Teaching Physics

For Biology, Chemistry and Physics major students

This course will discuss the nature, history, pedagogical content knowledge, and experimental methods of physics. It will look at physics as a way of thinking in which student-teachers learn to solve practical problems not just concerning physics but also in other subjects and real life. One of the most important aspects of the course will be to teach student-teachers how to capture misconceptions that children have in physics and how to systematically dismantle them. The course will also explore the role of mathematics in physics, especially for the content of grades 9 and 10. In this context, numerical problem-solving techniques, and learning self-diagnosis of errors in numerical problem-solving will also be discussed. Considering the time constraints, the topics generally considered difficult will be focussed on in class, and the less difficult ones may be given as part of assignments and assessments in which the student-teachers can extrapolate these dimensions as learned in class to topics that they choose to work on. There will be a considerable component of the classes that will be held in the physics lab where the student-teachers will learn to design experiments for children, choose the range of variables and values, develop thought experiments, and learn ways and techniques to improve the accuracy of results with a given set of equipment.