Παρασκευή, 21 Νοεμβρίου 2008

Paul Hewitt: My best memory is the exhilaration of teaching conceptual physics to more than 1000 nonscience students year after year.

Η Ένωση Δασκάλων Φυσικής των ΗΠΑ (American Association of Physics Teacher), το 2006,« Γιορτάζοντας τα 75 χρόνια διάκρισης στην ενίσχυση της κατανόησης και της αναγνώρισης της Φυσικής μέσω της διδασκαλίας»
(Celebrating 75 Years of Excellence in Enhancing the Understanding and Appreciation of Physics Through Teaching)
απευθύνθηκε σε 75 γνωστούς φυσικούς ερευνητές, δασκάλους φυσικής, συγγραφείς οι οποίοι εξέθεσαν τις απόψεις τους, σε 4 ερωτήσεις, λίγο πολύ κοινές για όλους (για τις αλλαγές με τη μεγαλύτερη απήχηση στη Φυσική τα τελευταία 75 χρόνια, για τις αλλαγές στη Φυσική και στη διδα
σκαλία της φυσικής τα επόμενα 25 χρόνια, για τις αναμνήσεις τους, αν είναι αισιόδοξοι για το μέλλον της Φυσικής, και τέλος για το αγαπημένο τους χρώμα). Οι 75 φυσικοί επελέγησαν μετά από ψηφοφορία μεταξύ των μελών της Ένωσης στην ιστοσελίδα της Ένωσης.
Οι απαντήσεις των φημισμένων φυσικών και δασκάλων φυσικής, δημοσιεύτηκαν σε ένα μικρό βιβλιαράκι.
Σήμερα η συνέντευξη με τον Paul Hewitt

Paul G. Hewitt
Physics Instructor Emeritus, City College of San Francisco, CA

Changes with the greatest impact in the past 75 years.
Positive impact: A great change in physics in the past 75 years has been the proportion of students
studying it. Prior to the effects of the GI Bill on education following Word War II, few students studied physics. I think also that there were fewer physics courses for nonscience majors. That has changed, as physics is more and more making its way into the general educational mainstream.
Negative impact: 75 years ago, physics textbooks emphasized concepts qualitatively as well as quantitatively. Reduction of qualitative emphasis occurred in books after Word War II. More and more, physics courses became courses in applied mathematics.

Changes in physics and physics education in the next 25 years.
Positive changes: I see a reversal of the science occurring, where physics in high schools will begin the science sequence (as it does in most of the word already). Following physics will be chemistry, and then molecular biology.
Negative changes: Those teaching high school physics will resist this reversal because they will lose both their elevated status and their delight in teaching small classes of the best and brightest students.

Memories
My best memory is the exhilaration of teaching conceptual physics to more than 1.000 nonscience physics year after year, who took the course as an elective, at City College of San Francisco. My worst memory is cleaning out my office upon retirement.

Are you hopeful about the future of physics.
I feel hopeful about the future of physics because learning it is becoming more and more in the reach of students. Learning it is becoming more and more in the reach of students. Learning via the web offers optional routes to learning that didn’t exist until recently. Because physics is so central to science, it will grow with growing interest in general.

Favorite color
For clothing, blue. For automobiles, cyan. In general, violet. In particular, the combination of red and violet, the two ends of visible spectrum – as in bougainvillea bushes, for example.

Percentage of Public High School
Graduates Taking Intro Science Courses
1982: Physics 15% Chemistry 31% Biology 77%
1987: Physics 20% Chemistry 44% Biology 86%
1990: Physics 22% Chemistry 49% Biology 91%
1994: Physics 25% Chemistry 56% Biology 93%
1998: Physics 29% Chemistry 60% Biology 93%

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