I am new to Phys-L, so I hope you will excuse me if I repeat questions that
have been discussed before.
We want to revise our calculus based general physics sequence. In the past
we have used fairly traditional texts, like Young/Sears & Zemansky or
Halliday and Resnik, but we commonly get students with weak backgrounds
in math, science and problem solving who have great difficulty with that
type of material. We feel that we need the course to emphasize the
development problem solving skills and a strong foundation in the basic
principles, even if that means postponing some topics for later courses.
I don't think we want do make a change as drastic as adopting a laboratory
physics approach, but we do feel the need to make significant changes in
our approach to general physics. I want to ask for your input into this
At the least, I want to ask for recommendations of alternative textbooks
for general physics that pay more attention to problem solving skills, or
have a more effective approach to developing those skills, while still
providing a solid foundation in physics. I would also appreciate
information or references about teaching strategies that others have found
to be effective, what topics must be covered in general physics (and to
what depth), what topics can effectively be postponed to later, etc.
Thanks in advance.