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Re: PER textbook suggestions

I've used Karen et al's rewrite of Halliday et al in the early stages.
The students found it readable. I found much to work with for engaging
students. I haven't used the most recent version, but you can't go
wrong with it.
I've used Sherwood and Chabay's second volume in two versions and can't
say enough good stuff about it. I chose not to use the first volume
because I thought the startup might be too quick for my students. I
think if I had it to do over, I'd take a shot at it. It's a joy to
teach from.
I reviewed a section of Randy Knight's book and looked very carefully at
the earlier preliminary addition. I would do some things differently,
but so would we all. Once again, the material is there to actively
engage the students in issues that PER has highlighted.

I think that is the full list, I can't think of any more. Of course
there are other items that you could use. For example, McDermott's
Tutorials in Physics, or the ALPS material to support whatever text you

Hope that helps,


On Thu, 19 Feb 2004, Larry Smith wrote:


I think I'll need to select a new textbook for our calc-based first-year
University Physics for scientists and engineers for next fall. I've been
using Serway and Beichner 5e and liked it fairly well, but it's getting
harder to find copies of the 5e now that the 6e is out. I could just move
to the 6e, but Beichner isn't on that one, so I'm also open to more radical
moves. What I'd like is a textbook written from the ground up based on PER
principles, but Beichner's own book isn't due for a couple of years yet.
Since I'm at a two-year college where transfer to universities is very
important for our engineering students, I can't do something too radical
that the universities would frown on. Is there a PER-based book that isn't
so radical as to make the course untransferable? I'd still need to cover
the standard topics in the two-semester sequence, and probably even in the
same general order since all University Physics sequences in the state
articulate and have the same course numbers (students can easily transfer
after one semester and pick up the second half of the sequence).

For example, the brochure for Randall D. Knight's book "Physics for
Scientists and Engineers" (Pearson/Addison Wesley) claims the text is
"built from the ground up for more effective learning." It further says,
"We are proud to present the first calculus-based physics text built from
the ground up based on educational research into how students learn and can
be taught more effectively." This is exactly the kind of thing I'm looking
for, but I'd like the opinion of the rest of you about this text and also
on other similar competitors.


Joseph J. Bellina, Jr. 574-284-4662
Professor of Physics
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN 46556