Supporting Physics Teaching

The Supporting Physics Teaching materials are designed specially for teachers who are new to teaching physics and those wishing to develop their existing skills. They are grounded in wide-ranging evidence and enriched with the wisdom of practicing classroom teachers of physics. The materials develop your professional subject knowledge across these facets:

  • building a coherent and defensible physics narrative (PN) 
  • developing an appreciation of the teaching and learning issues (TL)
  • expanding your range of teaching approaches (TA)

Most resources have been migrated over to this website - IOPSpark - from supportingphysicsteaching.net but if you find any mistakes or missing content, please let us know via spark@iop.org.

Teaching Electric Loops to students aged 5–11

  1. Build and model electrical loops PN | TL | TA

Teaching Motion and Force to students aged 5-11

  1. Exploring motion PN | TL | TA
  2. Exploring magnets PN | TL | TA
  3. Finding forces PN | TL | TA

Teaching Hearing and Seeing to students aged 5-11

  1. Seeing things PN | TL | TA

  2. Hearing things PN | TL | TA

  3. Lighting the Earth PN | TL | TA

Teaching Electric Circuits to students aged 11-14

  1. Modelling simple electrical loops PN | TL | TA

  2. Adding elements to circuits PN | TL | TA

  3. Power and voltage PN | TL | TA

  • Particular issues arising and decisions to be made when teaching Electric Circuits.
  • Kitset of the main ideas in the topic.
  • Pathways through the topic.

Teaching Electromagnetism to students aged 11-14

  1. Exploring magnets PN | TL | TA
  2. Electromagnets at work PN | TL | TA
  • Particular issues arising and decisions to be made when teaching Electromagnetism.
  • Kitset of the main ideas in the topic.
  • Pathways through the topic.

Teaching Energy to students aged 11-14

  1. Paying for getting things done PN | TL | TA
  2. Shifting energy between stores PN | TL | TA
  3. Energy resources and pathways PN | TL | TA
  4. Calculating energy everywhere PN | TL | TA
  5. Warming and cooling PN | TL | TA
  • Particular issues arising and decisions to be made when teaching Energy.
  • Kitset of the main ideas in the topic.
  • Pathways through the topic.

Teaching Earth in Space to students aged 11-14

  1. Gravity and space PN | TL | TA
  2. Orbits and satellites PN | TL | TA
  3. The solar system and beyond PN | TL | TA
  4. Earth-Moon-Sun PN | TL | TA
  • Particular issues arising and decisions to be made when teaching Earth in Space.
  • Kitset of the main ideas in the topic.
  • Pathways through the topic.

Teaching Forces to students aged 11-14

  1. Forces - a new way of seeing PN | TL | TA
  2. Contact forces PN | TL | TA
  3. Non-contact forces PN | TL | TA
  • Particular issues arising and decisions to be made when teaching Forces.
  • Kitset of the main ideas in the topic.
  • Pathways through the topic.

Teaching Light to students aged 11-14

  1. Seeing with light PN | TL | TA
  2. Modelling light with ray diagrams PN | TL | TA
  3. Reflection and refraction PN | TL | TA
  4. Colours of two kind PN | TL | TA
  • Particular issues arising and decisions to be made when teaching Light.
  • Kitset of the main ideas in the topic.
  • Pathways through the topic.

Teaching Machines to students aged 11-14

  1. Levers PN | TL | TA
  2. Pressure PN | TL | TA
  • Particular issues arising and decisions to be made when teaching Machines.
  • Kitset of the main ideas in the topic.
  • Pathways through the topic.

Teaching Motion to students aged 11-14

  1. Speed PN | TL | TA
  2. Predicting constant speed PN | TL | TA
  3. Non-zero force changes speed PN | TL | TA
  • Particular issues arising and decisions to be made when teaching Motion.
  • Kitset of the main ideas in the topic.
  • Pathways through the topic.

Teaching Sound to students aged 11-14

  1. Describing sound PN | TL | TA
  2. Quantifying and using sound PN | TL | TA
  • Particular issues arising and decisions to be made when teaching Sound.
  • Kitset of the main ideas in the topic.
  • Pathways through the topic.

Teaching Electricity and Energy to students aged 14-16

  1. Setting up electrical loops PN | TL | TA
  2. Electrical working in loops PN | TL | TA
  3. Designed devices switch pathways PN | TL | TA
  4. Efficiency and calculations PN | TL | TA

Teaching Force and Motion to students aged 14-16

  1. Resultant force sets acceleration PN | TL | TA
  2. Accumulating changes PN | TL | TA
  3. Measures of quantity of motion PN | TL | TA
  4. Force pairs replace interactions PN | TL | TA
  • Particular issues arising and decisions to be made when teaching Force and Motion.
  • Kitset of the main ideas in the topic.
  • Pathways through the topic.

Teaching Radiations and Radiating to students aged 14-16

  1. Radiating from source to absorber PN | TL | TA
  2. Photons shift energy PN | TL | TA
  3. Multiple contributions PN | TL | TA
  4. Radiations that ionise PN | TL | TA
  5. Sources of ionising radiation PN | TL | TA

Evolution of Supporting Physics Teaching materials

The project started in 2002 with six groups of teachers of the sciences, each led by a university-based teacher educator. Since the initial publication, former teacher and teacher trainer Ian Lawrence has curated the resources, organising, editing and updating them. The primary resources were developed  in partnership with Primary Science Teaching Trust in 2014-15.

Support

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