Van der Waals-Zeeman Colloquium

Thursday, 11 Dec 2008, 16:00h

Teaching Conceptual Physics:
How to make an introductory physics course insightful and delightful?

Prof. Paul G. Hewitt
City College of San Francisco

If a goal of physics departments is to increase the numbers of students considering physics as a major, then the following guideline applies: When a learner’s first course in physics is seen as insightful and delightful, the rigor of the second course will be welcomed. In the spirit of Eric Roger’s classic book, “Physics for the Inquiring Mind,” education is what remains after the facts have been forgotten. What remains is the flavor of the course. Was it relevant? Was it insightful? Does it merit further study? If the answers to these questions is yes, then more students will enter the physics education pipeline. Pure and simple.

How to make an introductory physics course insightful and delightful will be discussed.