Force
Forces and Motion | Electricity and Magnetism

Things you'll need to decide on as you plan: Non-Contact Forces

Teaching Guidance for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

Bringing together two sets of constraints

Focusing on the learners:

Distinguishing–eliciting–connecting. How to:

  • draw on children's own experience of action at the distance, probably through experiences with magnets
  • draw on children's experiences, some of which will be vicarious, to establish the reality of gravity in space
  • explore something of the mystery of action at a distance

Teacher Tip: These are all related to findings about children's ideas from research. The teaching activities will provide some suggestions. So will colleagues, near and far.

Focusing on the physics:

Representing–noticing–recording. How to:

  • relate electric, magnetic and gravity forces, without conflating them
  • separate the mass of an object from the force of gravity acting on an object, without being dogmatic
  • treat freefall as a natural motion

Teacher Tip: Connecting what is experienced with what is written and drawn is essential to making sense of the connections between the theoretical world of physics and the lived-in world of the children. Don't forget to exemplify this action.

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