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Re: Physics First (fwd)

Vern Dewees tried to send this to phys-l and sent it to me since he got
an error message. I am forwarding it to phys-l since he agrees with me.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 1996 07:14:34 -0500 (CDT)
From: Vern Dewees <>

I agree with Scott. You seem to have good success. Freshman will not be
able to handle the math of your honors course. I know that one of the
contributors to this list in Mass. or Conn. is teaching physics to
freshman and I think that Alex Domkowski at St. Mary's Hall in San
Antonio, Texas is also. I was at an AP workshop last Austin and I
seem to recall Alex talking about his experiences there.

My experience with freshman in both public and private high school
settings is that they are not ready for Physics.

Before I make this last statement and draw the wrath of all the Biology
teachers out there, I must admit that I have not had a Biology class
since my freshman year of high school. However, I do teach next door to
two and I get the impression that there is more material than they can
cover in a year(not that we do not have the same problem). I also have
heard from a 27 year veteran who teaches Bio., Chem, and Physics who
thinks chemistry is needed for the students to understand Biology.
Perhaps Biology is a junior level course!

Maybe you should take half the freshman class the traditional way and the
other half the proposed way and see which works out better.

Oh, I just remembered that one of the high schools in Round Rock, near
Austin, started biology, physics, and then chemistry for their 9,10,11th
grade sequence.

Having rambled on about all this, I think Scott is right. Do not let them
break your program to fix theirs.

Vern Dewees
South Garland High School