Exhibit A: Sal Khan on elevators
Exhibit B: My students on elevators
Framed around the Karplus learning cycle (Exploration, Invention, and Application) my students construct the conceptual and mathematical models themselves.
1. Exploration Phase:
2. Invention Phase:
- Draw a motion diagram for the object attached to the scale when the scale is stationary, then being pulled up and then stops.
- Draw a force diagram for the object attached to the scale when the scale is stationary, then being pulled up and then stops. Decide whether the force diagram is consistent with the motion diagram. How is the force diagram related ot the reading of the scale?
- Use the force diagram and the idea under test to make a prediction of the relative readings of the scale.
- Observe the experiment and reconcile the outcome with your prediction.
(Video and questions for this phase taken from Eugenia Etkina’s awesome site Physics Teaching Technology Resource which has many more video experiments.)
Instead of showing our students a better lecture, let’s get them doing something better than lecture.
UPDATE: Welcome New York Times readers! Other recommended posts:
- Modeling Instruction: Learning Science by Doing Science
- Interview on MSNBC about Modeling Instruction
- Khan Academy and the Effectiveness of Science Videos
- You Khan’t Ignore How Students Learn
- Khan Academy: My Final Remarks