Light, Sound and Waves

Thinking about actions to take: Reflection and Refraction

Teaching Guidance for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

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

Try these

  • linking reflection to the act of seeing all non-luminous objects
  • exploring the phenomenon of refraction through many different examples
  • developing more complex examples on the foundations of an account of the simple phenomena
  • making some real measurements of angles, emphasising skilful practice

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

  • restricting examples of reflection to only, or mostly, shiny surfaces
  • replacing experiences of real and interesting phenomena with a series of ad-hoc memorised rules
  • not showing how an understanding of simple situations is linked to a wide variety of phenomena in the lived-in world

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.

is formalised by Law of Reflection
can be exhibited by Progressive Wave
has the special case Total Internal Reflection
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