Chronology Current Month Current Thread Current Date
[Year List] [Month List (current year)] [Date Index] [Thread Index] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Prev] [Date Next]

Re: [Phys-l] MIT world video, "Teaching the Second Law"

The thing that is really infuriating is that nobody mentioned any research
on teaching thermo. There is research on this, and there is even a TCI
Thermo Concept Inventory. I have found articles about the TCI.

I doubt that a traditional physicist would actually do a better job. Some
of the panelists did express the opinion that they achieved better
understanding, but there was no data to back it up, so the opinion could be
an illusion.

I have not quite finished the video, but after I do finish it, I might have
to revise my opinion, but I really doubt it. There are even engineering
educators who are working in the TCI, but that sort of thing does not seem
to have penetrated most engineering professors.

John M. Clement
Houston, TX

On 01/25/2010 08:39 PM, curtis osterhoudt wrote:

Horrifying. Macabre.

Some professors weigh in on teaching the 2nd law of Thermo.

Apparently no physics professors. Also nobody from
the cryptography, communications, machine learning,
or statistics communities.

Interesting takes on where students get hung up.

Interesting? I found it infuriating. My reaction
was, "Duh, if you run through a cactus plantation
at night, you're going to get hung up." That is
to say, the nine panelists described at least eight
different ways of making the subject seem infinitely
more complicated and less useful than it really is.

No wonder the students get hung up.

I had no idea the situation was so bad. Maybe I'm
naive, but I would have preferred to stay naive.

Now I need to go watch The Exorcist or The Shining,
something to get the image of that MIT video out of
my head. Otherwise I'm gonna have nightmares.

Forum for Physics Educators