Thinking about actions to take: Contact Forces
Teaching Guidance for 11-14
There's a good chance you could improve your teaching if you were to:
- Building explicit connections between the actions of animate and inanimate environments on an object
- Building in explicitly the steps from physical situation to the forces acting on the object
- Modelling how you come to expect a warp force to be acting
- Discussing the placement of arrows
- Focusing on the physical reasons for expecting a force to be acting – e.g. the bombardment by particles
- Sharing tangible examples of frictional forces
- Arranging for children to experience drag forces in air
Work through the Physics Narrative to find these lines of thinking worked out and then look in the Teaching Approaches for some examples of activities.
- Using friction as a blanket term, without reference to its physical origins
- Treating contact forces exerted by inanimate objects as obvious
- Stating, without sharing the appropriate experiences that give the statements meaning
- Being drawn into discussing the details of the drag forces
These difficulties are distilled from: the research findings; the practice of well-connected teachers with expertise; issues intrinsic to representing the physics well.