Teaching and learning issues

The central new issue here is the assertions of identity across the physical/ conceptual divide – so conflating phenomena with representations: e.g.:‘sound is a wave’. The lived-in world should remain correlated with to physics-world rather than merged with it: to do physics is to reimagine the world, not to recite facts.

There also appears to be too much hand-waving and the deployment of vague words, leading to the suspicion that children are being short-changed, with the idea of a wave being used as simply an act of classification, rather than as a mental tool with which one can reason about influences propagating so as to bridge distances without any particles having to make the trip. In which case the rigorous idea of wave is not being developed or deployed with the consequence that the teaching and learning is not as intelligible, fruitful or plausible as it could be.

There are particular difficulties associated with teaching about light or sound, or radiating, which have already been identified in supporting physics teaching.