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Teaching Different Physics Courses

  1. Apr 13, 2013 #1
    Hi all,

    I have an interview question and trying to figure out how to answer this.

    What is the difference between calculus based physics, trig based physics, survey physics, conceptual physics, and astronomy courses?

    How should the teaching methods you follow be different for each course? How do you address the differences when you teach those courses?

    I really appreciate any help.

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2013 #2
    Here's a possible starting point for your reply: the students' backgrounds will be very different for those classes. How will you adapt your lesson plans and/or teaching style to adjust?

    For example, 'conceptual physics' is usually designed for people who want a general overview rather than detailed and rigorous mathematical formalism. For that class, I'd ask a lot of questions with qualitative answers like "Ice floats. Is ice more or less dense than water?" or "Why are physicists extremely skeptical when an inventor claims to have built a perpetual-motion machine?"

    For the 'calculus-based' students, I'd focus on physical uses for higher mathematics, e.g. projectile-motion problems, using derivatives to represent velocities and acceleration, forces as gradients of potential functions, etc.
  4. Apr 14, 2013 #3
    Thank you NegativeDept. If there are other people who can recommend me something, I will really appreciate it.
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