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Open Letter to the President: Physics Education

Hits: 6250 | Rating: (2.4) | Category: Science | Added by: fancylad
Jump to: Bottom    Last Post
Male, 40-49, Europe
 2835 Posts
Friday, November 16, 2012 1:42:13 AM
I partially agree with what he's saying about physics, but his knowledge of science history is a bit iffy.

Male, 30-39, Eastern US
 14177 Posts
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 5:43:35 AM

So you've got that sustainable fusion reactor almost done then.....

Female, 30-39, Australia
 372 Posts
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:16:11 PM
I am kind of surprised, having done Physics almost 20years ago in Australia, I just took it for granted studying relativity and quantum theory was a given.

Male, 30-39, Midwest US
 1570 Posts
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 3:20:35 PM
I taught high school Physics for a year and I tried to squeeze as much modern physics in as possible. It is difficult because you have to meet the standards set forth by the state and most schools only offer physics as an elective. Most of the kids enjoyed the challenge of modern physics and they found it much more interesting than classic.

Male, 18-29, Europe
 304 Posts
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 12:44:21 PM
You could fit more in if you had more time and taught it better. There's so much pointless repetition in school.

Male, 40-49, Western US
 3882 Posts
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 11:42:32 AM
I think the President is a little busy to pay attention to a Canadian who narrates science videos on Youtube.

Male, 18-29, Eastern US
 2564 Posts
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 11:14:49 AM
This is largely inaccurate, coming from a former student of a high school physics class.

Male, 40-49, Southern US
 183 Posts
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 9:54:54 AM
"Mr. President, imagine if history classes didn't talk about the abolition of slavery, World Wars I or II, the Great Depression, the rise of the U.S. as a global superpower, the Cold War, or the Civil Rights movement, or, heaven forbid, the first African-American president."

Gosh. He could have just said 'imagine history classes in Texas' and saved time....

Male, 18-29, Midwest US
 7000 Posts
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 9:46:28 AM
The issue with trying to fit in even more physics education into high school is that everything in high school is taught at such a slow pace. Even in AP classes you learn in a year what that same class in college would cover in one semester.

To jam more physics teaching in to high school we need to do one or both of two things:
1)make physics a required class for every semester you are in high school
2)start teaching basic physics classes in middle or even elementary school

Male, 50-59, Southern US
 2626 Posts
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 9:37:02 AM
Bah! The world's gonna end next month anyway...

Male, 18-29, Eastern US
 169 Posts
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 9:13:54 AM
I don't think he wants these students to be taught the "ins and outs" of these theories, just the broad concepts so that these students are aware that these ideas exist and they may be inspired to pursue further education in physics and math.

He is lamenting the general ignorance of the population when it comes to technology and physics. He just wants people to be aware of the modern developments in physics not to have mastered the mathematics behind them

Female, 40-49, Midwest US
 1805 Posts
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 9:12:03 AM
I took all the physics classes I could in high school and I can't see how these advanced topics could be crammed in when we were still learning basics like momentum, conservation of energy, forces, etc. Even all the college-level physics classes I took for my engineering degree didn't go into most of these very specific subject areas.

Male, 30-39, Eastern US
 883 Posts
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:59:56 AM
This is factually inaccurate or vague at best.

While I agree with the premise that more science education is a good thing, a lot of what is said here is just untrue. Moreover, it varies from state to state.

I know for a fact that in at least this state relativity, wave-particle duality, the uncertainty principle, and the gravitational effect on light are all mandated to be taught in public high school physics classes.

While this is not all of what he suggested was missing, it does address several of the examples that he gave. Atomic structure (yes, modern atomic structure) is taught in chemistry class as is the E-M spectrum.

The main problem is that kids just don't take high school physics.

Female, 18-29, Midwest US
 9018 Posts
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:57:12 AM
@Thonious, I was thinking the same thing. I know a good number of people who think that education should be left to local and state government. I don't believe that, but I could hear the argument in my head when I saw this.

Male, 18-29, S. America
 2864 Posts
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:47:29 AM
LOL! He thinks High School kids as a whole are capable of learning!

Male, 40-49, Europe
 333 Posts
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:44:38 AM
sometimes it isnt only wether they are willing to learn, sometimes it comes down to us ,wether we are willing to teach

Male, 30-39, Canada
 5753 Posts
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:43:31 AM
Well, to imply that you can teach everything in physics in a high school classroom is foolish. I'm assuming they don't go too much into the newer developments because:
1) There just isn't enough time
2) You need to understand the basics before you can go into more advanced theories
3) It's just high school physics. I'm not expecting any high school grad to know the ins and outs of all of physics.

Male, 40-49, Western US
 989 Posts
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:39:26 AM
Before this goes too far we have to ask whether the Federal government should even be involved in local schools.

Male, 30-39, Eastern US
 14177 Posts
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:36:04 AM
LOL! He thinks High School kids as a whole are willing to learn!

Male, 30-39, Western US
 2686 Posts
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:22:22 AM
Link: Open Letter to the President: Physics Education [Rate Link] - If you took a class of high school physics, you'd still know nothing. That needs to change. Get your sh*t together, US.

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