- It requires complex mathematics.
- It involved complex critical thinking and problem solving skills.
- Many of the concepts can be hard to visualize.
- It requires precise answers instead of vague notions.
If we are to retain more people in physics programs and get them to graduate, we're going to need to make some significant changes to physics. Not just the way it's taught, but the content as well. Here are a few suggestions to get you started thinking about how we can make the understanding of physics universal.
First off, let's get rid of differential equations. Derivatives and integrals are too esoteric for most people. If we get rid of those, then many more people will be able to pass their classes. On first blush, it doesn't seem like it will make much of a difference. After all, momentum is just mass times velocity. No calculus required.
Allow of ballpark answers. Does it really matter if the mass of a sphere is 10g or 10mg? No. A sphere is a sphere and has all of the good properties of spheriority no matter what size it is.
Allow pictures to replace equations. Instead of using abstract concepts to describe something in physics, just draw it, maybe with some lines and arrows and that's good enough.
I think you can quickly see how a few, harmless changes will be help to significantly increase the retention rate of physics students without making a big change in the content of the courses. After all, the important thing is to get people to stay in physics classes.
|Worthless nonsense. Out it goes!|