How should I best teach them? – Richard Feynman

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In “The Pleasure Of Finding Things Out” Richard Feynman is asked the question of how should you best teach them?

All those students are in the class: Now you ask me how should I best teach them? Should I teach them from the point of view of the history of science, from the applications? My theory is that the best way to teach is to have no philosophy, [it] is to be chaotic and [to] confuse it in the sense that you use every possible way of doing it. That’s the only way I can see to answer it, so as to catch this guy or that guy on different hooks as you go along, [so] that during the time when the fellow who’s interested in history’s being bored by the abstract mathematics, on the other hand the fellow who likes the abstractions is being bored another time by the history—if you can do it so you don’t bore them all, all the time, perhaps you’re better off. I really don’t know how to do it. I don’t know how to answer this question of different kinds of minds with different kinds of interests—what hooks them on, what makes them interested, how you direct them to become interested. One way is by a kind of force, you have to pass this course, you have to take this examination. It’s a very effective way. Many people go through schools that way and it may be a more effective way. I’m sorry, after many, many years of trying to teach and trying all different kinds of methods, I really don’t know how to do it.

#AKB#


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Classroom physics: free body diagram of Ariane 5

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I’ve been recently teaching Physics to 8th graders. We have finished the chapters on motion, forces, and friction, and just covered gravity. As part of this chapter, though not included in the curriculum or book, I introduced the concept of the free body diagram [1]. In the first session introducing this concept, most students didn’t really grab what it is or why it is important.

For the last session before the vacation, I started the class by playing a video of the Ariane 5 [2] launch that occurred on 29 August 2013 of the French Guiana:

Note: if can’t see the video click here.

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