How can Techniques used in Learning a Language Help in Learning Physics?

Learning a language means learning vocabulary. Physics uses a vocabulary of quantities which need to be memorised in the same way. Last weekend I took my daughter to the supermarket in the car. As I pulled away she said "I bet you like the v minus u over t of this car don't you?" It … Continue reading How can Techniques used in Learning a Language Help in Learning Physics?

Is there an Alternative to the Flight Path Method of Recording Student Progress?

I've always had a bit of a problem with the Flight Path model of recording and reporting student progress in Science. This model has various forms as shown here but they are all based on the idea that a student joins a secondary school in Year 7 with a Key Stage 2 score in English … Continue reading Is there an Alternative to the Flight Path Method of Recording Student Progress?

Swarm Engineering: From Flocking Robots to Nanomedicine

How can studying swarms lead to more efficient buildings and better medicines? I was lucky enough to attend a lecture by Dr Edmund Hunt at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Harwell last week. Dr Hunt took us on a journey of bio-inspiration to show how the study of nature may lead to the production of … Continue reading Swarm Engineering: From Flocking Robots to Nanomedicine

The Power of Self-Confidence:

A new study shows that self-belief can raise students' GCSE grades. Research published in the Oxford Review of Education shows that having a high academic self confidence can increase GCSE results by up to 6 grades. What's more is that these grade inflations are not limited to those with high prior attainments - it would … Continue reading The Power of Self-Confidence:

The Impact of a Good Teacher

Teachers should never underestimate the effect of their interactions with students. After their parents, teachers are the highest determining factor on the development of a young person's performance and personality, say Ulug et al in a 2011 study. Participants in the study rated the following aspects of a teacher's interactions with students as being the … Continue reading The Impact of a Good Teacher

Energy Stores and Energy Transfer Pathways

The idea of energy and the suggestions of how to teach energy in school Physics lessons has changed recently. Rather than thinking of energy as a "thing", teachers are now being encouraged by the exam boards and the Institute of Physics (http://www.iop.org) to talk about energy stores and energy transfer pathways. One of the suggestions … Continue reading Energy Stores and Energy Transfer Pathways

The most popular Exam Revision technique is also the worst.

As a parent and a teacher, I often have the chance to ask students what they do to revise for an exam. By far the most common response is something like "I just read through my notes/textbook/revision guide until I remember it all". However, when you watch somebody actually using this method you realise that … Continue reading The most popular Exam Revision technique is also the worst.

Who is Dr Plutonium of Plutonium Science?

I'm a Science Teacher in a UK Secondary School. I want to help as many people as possible gain some great GCSE and A Level exam results. So I'll do this by providing some amazing Teaching and Revision resources, some fantastic tips and advice and some reviews of some of the best resources the internet … Continue reading Who is Dr Plutonium of Plutonium Science?