1989 AAPT Summer Meeting
"Invited Session on Japanese High School Teachers
Present low-Cost Lecture Demonstrations"
6/29 1989 at Calfornia Poly State Univ.
1989 PTRA(Physics Teaching Resouse Agents) Meeting
"Participant Sharing Japanese Guests"
6/25 1989 at Calfornia Poly State Univ.
Participants from Japan
H. Chikazawa, H. Hayashi, Y. Iida, K. Ishikawa, H. Kawakatsu,
N. Matsuo, N. Mitsui, M. Nagano, J. Ogawa, H. Okumura, T. Toda, H. Ando
My Experiments and Reports at the AAPT
14 A Monkey Hunter
34 IMPREGNABLE PHYSICS-CASTLE
35 What is the Real Meaning of Low-cost Experiments?
(1) Physics Exists in Everything Everywhere.
Junk is a mountain of treasure.
Physics laws and concepts are universal. So physics exists in everything everywhere.
That's why the experiments using materials around us is meaningful to them.
(2) Subjectivity is easy to exhibit.
Students can challenge to the experiment themselves by means of their hands, brain and body.
(3) Creativity is easy to exhibit.
Owing to its commonplaceness, students are free to build or break or modify an instrument at their own will in their own way.
(4) Everybody can take part in the experiment, - young or old, experts or amateurs.
The experiment has qualification "For All the People."
And all of them can learn and perceive together how admirable it is.
(5) The experiment is independent of situation, requirements or difference in place.
It is carried out everywhere at all times. It is utilized in classes very easily by high school teachers who are too busy to spend their time on experiments because of preparation for college in some high-level schools or because of slow learners in some low-level schools.
The experiment may become common to every person not only from developed countries but also from developing countries.
(6) The simpler the experiment becomes, the more clearly its substance can be seen.
Simplification makes the scope of application enlarge. A more complicated and specified experiment makes it more difficult to understand its substance.
(7) Students find an applied principle simple in a complicated black box.
An instrument for an experiment used to be only a consumer's objective as merchandise filled with science and technology. During the disassembly of merchandise as waste materials, students are very surprised or impressed to know that a principle is applied in a simpler way than expected and how skillfully it is made. If they hunt for a junk box as a stray cat does, they find it filled with treasure.
It is necessary for teachers to continue examining what sort of material will lead to recovery of students' confidence in physics and release to their desire.
A company is trying to develop its business more efficiently, effectively and economically.
We teachers are also trying to do our best in order to uncover scientific principles more impressively, more essentially, by using more commonplace materials.
There is no telling what material the best one is until it is put to use practically. Most of experiments will result in failure. Failure will, however, make no difference. The same is true of students as well as teachers. This is a creative activity which both of them cooperate with each other.
37 For the Formation of Physics Concept
(1) Give questions in which issues are clear.
Each of questions should make a striking contrast between both logic of science and of common sense. In order to construct those questions, it is necessary to analyze the fundamental concepts in physics (to check their meaning and validity) from a teacher's viewpoint and , on the other hand, to grasp students' preconceptions (judgments on a basis of everyday experiences.)
(2) At first predict, and then discuss.
Each student should set forth the prediction or hypotheses upon the presented questions, explain why he does so, write about his views, and discuss the reason behind it. While students are doing so, their ways of thinking grounded on their experiences may be developed. Even if they are wrong from a teacher's viewpoint, we must not try to suppress their ways of thinking. This is a very good chance to grasp their preconceptions. They should to make a discussion thoroughly according to their own logic.
(3) Perform an experiment.
Which prediction or hypothesis is correct is judged by an experiment. Whether a prediction raised by a student proves correct is not shown by the authority of a teacher but verified by asking nature for the correct answer. For this, it is necessary to develop such experiments that are simple and essential. With breathless interest, anyone cannot help watching the transition of an experiment on condition that the experiment makes a decision of whether their predictions or hypotheses will surely prove correct. When an experiment is performed under these circumstances, there is no doubt that they shout for joy, whether the result is as expected or not. Here is a secret why they exclaim, Fantastic!" or Interesting!"
(4) Pile up questions and experiments.
Much presentation of questions and experiments enables students to overcome their views of nature supported by everyday experiences and to recognize that judgment grounded on logic of science is much more valid than judgment grounded on everyday experiences.