The state of Victorian physics

Filling the pail

Last week, I attended a physics conference organised by the Science Teachers Association of Victoria (STAV). It was a curious affair – as all physics teacher conferences are – and I was, as ever, left with the feeling that I had just attended a revival meeting for a religion I didn’t quite believe in.

Don’t get me wrong, I love physics. And that’s the problem.

You see, Victoria has recently rewritten its senior physics curriculum to make it groovier and funkier. We no longer have unit titles that describe what the unit is about. Instead, we have facile questions such as, “How do things move without contact?” or, “How fast can thingsgo?” [my emphasis].

The logic of such a change is obvious. Physics is really dull, right? So by changing the titles of units into questions we’ll make it more engaging. Students will find the learning irresistible. It’s all…

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