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I feel so behind

  1. Jan 22, 2005 #1
    I feel so behind everybody! What I do in school seems so dumb, and I feel like my time is being wasted, mostly because I have a lot of friends in america who do all the interesting stuff ( I live in India) . Just to reassure myself, what exactly is a person interested in physics and mathematics expected to know. Im 15 and im in 10th grade.
     
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  3. Jan 22, 2005 #2

    JasonRox

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    Nothing.

    I don't think you actually start physics until 11th and 12th grade.

    For a grade 10 student to know quite a bit, well that student probably learned it on his own reading a textbook.

    Don't look at other school systems or other students to measure up where you should be. If you're interested, pick up a book and start reading. Don't be in a rush to learn something either because you'll start skipping good and important stuff.

    If you really want to learn, I strongly advise you to avoid coffee books. They are books of interest who merely just talk about stuff without actually doing math or anything. They simply just discuss something and make the average person feel smarter.
     
  4. Jan 22, 2005 #3

    Moonbear

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    Jason has it right. In the US, physics is usually taught in 11th or 12th grade, and some students never take it in high school. Depending on the school district, some students may be allowed to advance more quickly and take subjects sooner, but they aren't the average student. It's tough to compare educational systems between different countries anyway, so there's no point getting too worried about it. What one country considers important to require, another won't teach at all, and vice versa.
     
  5. Jan 22, 2005 #4
    The mathematics requirements here for the first year of physics are to have completed a second year of algebra. The second year of physics requires concurrent enrollment in a pre-calculus or higher math course.
     
  6. Jan 22, 2005 #5

    Gokul43201

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    World-hen, I strongly believe that you get a much better physics education in India at the high school level than you will likely get most anywhere in the US. The reverse is true only at (college and) graduate levels.

    Jason gives you good advice. If you find you are not being taught enough physics - which I seriously doubt - you could always learn more by yourself.

    Here's a good idea of what you "could" know by the end of grade 10. It's from the Indian Certitificate of Secondary Education's (ICSE) syllabus (which in my opinion, is a great school board), though it may e a little old. If that's not enough, and only if you know everything here, and can solve all the problems in the text, would I recommend that you try and learn more by yourself.

     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2005
  7. Jan 22, 2005 #6
    hi bro, it depends on where you are, from personal experience, i know that Tamil Nadu is much better than states like Bihar.. but at the same time Kerala has to be the best in the country because they have the highest literacy rate...
     
  8. Jan 26, 2005 #7
    I think the highschool education here in the U.S. is in pretty bad shape If your interested in advanced theoretical physics then read books suggested in the post in this section about suggested reading. If you just want to learn the basics of physics mechanical , electricity, fluids, thermodynamics, etc. then pick up a good text book and work through it.
     
  9. Jan 26, 2005 #8
    [q]What I do in school seems so dumb, and I feel like my time is being wasted, mostly because I have a lot of friends in america who do all the interesting stuff ( I live in India[/q]

    Im 15 too and just recetly moved to the US... was in the Indian CBSE board till 9th grade .. ( did my first term in 10th grade but i guess that doesnt count ) and am now a 10th grader in a private school.... Let me tell you that the Indian Education ( especially the CBSE board ) has a physics and math curriculum much more rigorous than the regular courses in the high schools here... Im taking a general physics course which cannot be compared to the CBSE physics course as its is really VERY EASY! The only thing u might be missing out on is taking AP courses which I guess is not a very big deal..

    Btw add OPTICS ( lens formula, mirror formule, convex and concave mirrors/lens,etc ) to Gokul's list and remember, the grass is always greener on the other side..
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2005
  10. Jan 26, 2005 #9

    Moonbear

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    Okay, looking at Gokul's list, I'm left wondering, what are they teaching in US schools anymore????? With the exception of Modern Physics (radioactivity was covered in chemistry), we covered all those topics in 11th grade physics when I was in high school. And yes, optics was included too. While I can't possibly compare Indian and American curricula, I thought that if you did have physics in high school, you were still taught those topics. No wonder I thought college physics was too easy (it seemed like a complete repeat of high school physics, and I didn't even take the AP level class). :eek:
     
  11. Jan 26, 2005 #10
    i dont quite understand what you mean... are you saying that the physics curriculum in high school sucks ?
     
  12. Jan 26, 2005 #11

    Moonbear

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    I guess I'm asking if it does. Gokul listed those topics covered in Indian physics courses as if those aren't all covered in high school in the US, so I'm wondering if that's really true nowadays. If so, things sure have changed even more than I thought!
     
  13. Jan 26, 2005 #12

    to put it lightly, yes.

    All that stuff is covered in AP physics, but regular physics, well, not in my high school. And physics was not required at all. Chem and bio were, but not physics, even for college prep. Which i think is ridiculous. A good physics education is much more important than a good bio education, not so much in terms of material, but in terms of scientific thinking which is much more rigorous is entry level physics than in entry level bio (in my experience anyway).
     
  14. Jan 26, 2005 #13
    In most high schools in America, the answer is a resounding yes.

    I've found that even the AP Physics classes tend to concentrate too heavily on how to apply formulas (or problem-solving processes, in the C-oriented classes) instead of where they come from and what they mean. But then, I've always had a little difference of opinion with the schooling system about what should be taught and how it should be taught. Dumbing down the course so that even the least motivated person can look good on paper is foolish.

    --J
     
  15. Jan 26, 2005 #14
    Well i think AP physics is more detailed and elaborates on the topics in general phsics..

    i know what u mean.... I personally think that physics should be compulsory since the other sciences such as chemistry and bio are based on it to a certain extent! Its good that in the Indian Curriculum, all the sciences are done simultaneously thus making it compulsory for kids to learn physics too!

    Damn that sucks.. i was hoping that i would be able to derive forumulas in AP physics as opposed to just applying formulas and plugging in values! used to derive formulas in CBSE and it was fun knowing how the formulas came about as opposed to just plugging in values which anyone could do!

    Btw, is AP physics a calculus based course?
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2005
  16. Jan 26, 2005 #15

    JasonRox

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    It feels (well it is) like we are practicing solving questions all day. It's like you can't past the test unless you do a million questions, so let's half a million in class and you can do half a million at home. They almost... well they never talk theorie.
     
  17. Jan 26, 2005 #16
    However, solving problems is essential in addition to understanding the concepts! Practice makes perfect!
     
  18. Jan 26, 2005 #17

    JasonRox

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    Doing a million isn't necessary.

    Also, if you plan on going any further into the subject/topic, it is ESSENTIAL that you know where all these formulas and ideas are coming from. Of course, they don't have time to do that because there is 999, 999 more questions to go through! :surprised
     
  19. Jan 26, 2005 #18
    The technique is not particularly difficult. Actually, the technique isn't difficult at all. Even the Physics C exam amounts to little more than algebra with the odd derivative or integral thrown in.

    I don't even agree that all the "different" problems that you do are even helpful. Most of the time the teacher throws a bunch of problems at you that all amount to just about the same thing, then goes on to say that you have to solve each one differently, confounding the students into believing they have to learn (memorize) all sorts of junk (50 different ways to solve the same problem? Useful? What?) and diverting their attention away from the whole point of the physics (to understand what's going on). Students are taught the approach to problems of "Which problem that I've done before is this problem similar to and how was I taught to solve that one?" instead of "What's going on in this situation?" Naturally, the first approach will take you nowhere, since you can't memorize the solution to a problem you've never seen before, and if you can't solve problems you've never seen before, then a computer can do your job for you a thousand times faster and a hundred times cheaper.

    End rant. Sorry if I'm preaching to the choir here, but the rant's not really directed at anybody's opinions in particular. Just the educational system.

    And I'll add that practice does not make perfect when you have no clue what you're practicing.

    --J
     
  20. Jan 26, 2005 #19

    JasonRox

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    You might want to make that a million. :wink:
     
  21. Jan 26, 2005 #20
    A million's probably a better estimate. I was just on a bit of a roll. :wink:

    --J
     
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