Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Teaching Physics Using "Anchor Equations"


I've only started reading this paper, so I haven't fully digest everything that was written, but I thought I should pass this on and maybe we can all read this together.

The author is presenting a way to teach intro physics lessons using a set of what are called anchor equations

An important step in learning to use math in science is learning to see symbolic equations not just as calculational tools, but as ways of expressing fundamental relationships among physical quantities, of coding conceptual information, and of organizing physics knowledge structures. In this paper, I propose “anchor equations” as a construct to support teaching and learning in introductory physics. I define anchor equation, provide examples, and suggest ways anchor equations can be used in instruction to support the development of students’ mathematical sense-making.

I don't know if I'm doing something similar, but I don't have what I call as "master equations", in which these are a minimal set of equations as starting points, and where other equations are derived from. Newton's 2nd law (F = ma) is certainly one of my master equations. However, I don't think my line of thought about this is as well-developed as the author's, who actually used this as a central hub in understanding the physics relevant concept.

Definitely something I need to read more carefully.