Teaching Critical Thinking: An Example From Electricity And Magnetism

As I discussed in this post the other day, I believe that an excellent way to teach critical thinking is to present students with statements that are muddled, garbled, confused, poorly written, or just plain wrong, and instruct them to identify the errors and correct the statements. How can we train students to be critical … Read more

Students’ Misconceptions in Elementary Electricity

Today I handed back the graded mid-term tests in my first-year electricity and magnetism course, and the results were OK. The 2-hour test consisted of five problems and then a final 7-part question that probed for conceptual understanding. In the past I have asked students to write a paragraph about this or that, but this … Read more

“Necklace” Model for Current in Simple (Series) Electric Circuits

I’m teaching first-year electricity and magnetism this semester, and we are using the textbook College Physics by Knight, Jones, and Field. Students find it very clear, and it’s worked out well (we used the same textbook last year). The workbooks are very effective, as they walk students through concept development very nicely. As teacher resources, … Read more