Forces and Motion

Thinking about actions to take: Levers

Teaching Guidance for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

There's a good chance you could improve your teaching if you were to:

Try these

  • relating the action of the lever to conservation of energy
  • using separate terms, and separate shorthand, for distances moved and lengths to the pivot
  • drawing forces consistently, and as you did during the forces topic

Teacher Tip: 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.

Avoid these

  • using a single example, which is liable to misinterpretation
  • reducing the topic to a series of algorithmic calculations
  • moving too quickly from the physical to the abstract and mathematical

Teacher Tip: These difficulties are distilled from: the research findings; the practice of well-connected teachers with expertise; issues intrinsic to representing the physics well.

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