Newton's Second Law
Forces and Motion

Thinking about actions to take: Non-Zero Force Changes Speed

Teaching Guidance for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

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

Try these

  • working mostly with contact forces
  • emphasising the connection between resultant force and changing motion
  • focusing on the forces acting on a single object before trying to predict its motion
  • using only the resultant force to predict the motion

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

  • suggesting that force is the kind of thing that might run out
  • discussing multiple objects at once
  • speaking as if component forces are trying to make the object do something

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.

Newton's Second Law
is expressed by the relation F=ma
can be used to derive Kepler's First Law
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