Monday, October 06, 2008

Teaching Reflections I

I am working through the Electromagnetic section of the Grade 11 Physics Curriculum with my students. Most of whom still seem to be struggling with the 3-D visualization required for each of the Right Hand Rules (Conductor, Solenoid, Motor) which makes me wonder if they are prepared to move onto the next topic: Electromagnetic Induction and the Generator Effect. I will reserve judgement for the mean time but will proceed with caution through both Faraday's discovery and Lenz's Law. The Formal lab which looks at the factors that enhance the strength of the induced current should help but I may have to resort as well to the alternative pedagogic assistance that a computer simulation program provides.

My Grade 10 students have a test on Friday which will conclude the Ecology Unit of the Course. Although some of them have been enthusiastic at times in learning about this subject - which I supplemented with labs, posters, debates and essays - I am disturbed by the lack of critical thinking on their behalf. Class Discussions on such issues as forest destruction and global warming have been (for the most part) flat. Ideas have been scarce as has been the level of thought and reason. I will endeavour to work with these skills but the learned helplessness which seems to have influenced many a soul in these classes is a concern.
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