Forces and Motion

Patterns of thinking

Teaching Guidance for 14-16 Supporting Physics Teaching

Exploiting patterns whilst making them explicit

Teacher Tip: Three patterns of thinking have been widespread and explicit in the topic and throughout SPT. These are compensation, proportion, and accumulation. All three are used in this SPT: Force and motion topic. We suggest that you explicitly refer to the patterns in order to help show how common patterns of thinking are re-used in the topic.

Teacher Tip: Compensation: a trade-off between the physical quantities x and y, both of which contribute to the quantity z.

z = y × x

Teacher Tip: Proportion: the physical quantities x and y go up and down together, and when one is zero, so is the other.

x = constant × y

Teacher Tip: Accumulation: one physical quantity, y sets how another, x, grows over time.

Δ x = y ×  Δ t

appears in the relation F=ma a=dv/dt a=-(w^2)x
is used in analyses relating to Terminal Velocity
can be represented by Motion Graphs

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