Forces and Motion

Introducing the challenges - in teaching force

Teaching Guidance for 5-11 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

The main challenges

The main teaching and learning challenges in introducing the idea of force are:

    The use of familiar terms, such as force, in unfamiliar, specialist contexts The use of common sense ideas which may be incorrect from the scientific point of view The fact that you can't see forces – they require an abstract construction

The key is that we're after a simple, tractable description – a usable model. Make it simple enough and no simpler. The tendency is to add the not-needed and not-useful: often impairing complexity persists.

The model consists of one thing, and cunningly selected arrows, representing forces acting on that isolated thing.

To think about – who do you agree with here?



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