Patterns of thinking
Teaching Guidance for 14-16
Exploiting patterns whilst making them explicit
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.
Compensation: a trade-off between the physical quantities x and y, both of which contribute to the quantity z.
z = y × x
Proportion: the physical quantities x and y go up and down together, and when one is zero, so is the other.
x = constant × y
Accumulation: one physical quantity, y sets how another, x, grows over time.
Δ x = y × Δ t