Teacher-led learning in Physics

Why is the sky blue? What is electricity? Why does a solar eclipse occur?

Physics is a beautiful thing. It describes the Universe around us – from the very big to the very very small. But concepts can be very tough for students of all ages to grasp.

Some studies suggest that allowing pupils to try experiments first, let them figure out concepts on their own then teach them the theory after. This is a dangerous game. It can lead to all sorts of misconceptions that can be difficult to unravel.

I was once told:

You are the expert, they will learn best from you.

That has always stuck with me. There is a lot of taboo around too much teacher talk, lectures being too long, etc. however students will learn best when they learn from you.

But we need to make sure we are the expert in our field, we need to be able to talk about our subject with confidence. One of the greatest physicists of our time said:

If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it – Richard Feynman

We must know our subjects, inside and out, do our research and keep learning! This should ring true in each and every career, not just in education.

So, in summary, let the pupils learn from you, build their knowledge foundations, then let them build on top through a mix of scaffolding and discovery.

Blue light is scattered in all directions by air molecules in the atmosphere. Energy due to charges particles. The Sun is over 400 times larger than the Moon, but the Sun is 400 times further away from the Earth than the Moon. So when the Moon passes between you and the Sun it can completely obscure it.

Thank you for reading,

@Ask_aPhysicist

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