The Electromagnetic Spectrum
Light, Sound and Waves

Thinking about actions to take: Seeing With Light

Teaching Guidance for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

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

Try these

  • exemplifying seeing in the lived-in world using the source–medium–detector model
  • emphasising the trip time as a delay between source and detector
  • working up some convincing demonstrations that light seems to travel in straight lines
  • always explicitly accounting for reductions in brightness

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

  • speaking or acting as if light was just there
  • assuming that how we see is well understood
  • assuming that seeing is all accounted for by the physics
  • conflating rays (the theoretical construct) with light beams (the physical)

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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