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Responding to the Changes in the Teaching and Learning of Mechanics in Schools Stephen Lee Martin Harrison Carol Robinson.

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Presentation on theme: "Responding to the Changes in the Teaching and Learning of Mechanics in Schools Stephen Lee Martin Harrison Carol Robinson."— Presentation transcript:

1 Responding to the Changes in the Teaching and Learning of Mechanics in Schools Stephen Lee Martin Harrison Carol Robinson

2 2 Overview Background Schools’ Perspective Questionnaire – Schools Undergraduates’ Background Questionnaire – Students University Perspective Questionnaire/ Interviews Good Practice Summary of Findings

3 3 Background Maths Learning Support Centre Students need help with mechanics Realisation Some engineering students have not studied mechanics at school Anecdotal evidence Statistics – easy option

4 4 Background - Changes Changes in Post-16 Qualifications in 2000, including mathematics Curriculum 2000 (Mathematics) 2 or 3 applied modules (need not include mechanics) September (2004) 2 applied modules

5 5 Schools’ Perspective Questionnaire: To ascertain availability and uptake of mechanics modules January 2004 Posted to 500 ‘schools’ (18%) 242 replies 13,754 AS/A2-level maths students

6 6 Schools’ Perspective Availability of applied modules 0 Modules% of Pupils% of Schools Mechanics Statistics Discrete or 1 Module% of Pupils% of Schools Mechanics Statistics Discrete

7 7 Schools’ Perspective Uptake of applied modules

8 8 Undergraduates’ Background Questionnaire: To ascertain number of A-level mechanics modules studied Target groups Engineering, physics, maths October 2003 and 2004

9 9 Undergraduates’ Background Results – Maths/Phys/Eng students

10 10 Undergraduates’ Background

11 11 University Perspective Online questionnaire created: Gathered information on: Monitoring A-levels Students knowledge on arrival Mechanics teaching and support

12 12 University Perspective 33 Replies 27 Departments 19 Universities Aston, Bangor, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Essex, Exeter, Huddersfield, Imperial, Loughborough, Manchester, Napier, Newcastle, Nottingham, Plymouth, Strathclyde, Ulster

13 13 University Perspective In our sample: 50% of the academics monitor changes in A-level maths 1 in 5 of the departments check students maths A-level modules 58% of the academics assumed a knowledge of mechanics that their students would not necessarily have 2 out of 3 departments offer varying degrees of additional support

14 14 University Perspective “We as an engineering faculty are reviewing the whole issue and would be in the market for materials - it is a real problem and is eating up resources.”

15 15 Follow-up Interviews QE responses from 33 engineering academics Follow-up interviews with: 8 academics 8 departments 5 universities

16 16 Interviews Good Practice Obtain students’ knowledge of mechanics on arrival Questionnaire Diagnostic testing Engage the students Labs Problem Based Learning

17 17 Interviews Good Practice First university module in mechanics Review content Look at structure Consider streaming Low staff:student ratio Support the learning Resource Centre Reinforce learning via periodic assessment

18 18 Summary Schools 5% offer no mechanics 26% offer at most M1 43% of all pupils study M1 (not necessarily engineers) LU Engineers Approx 8% have studied no mechanics modules Approx 30% have studied at most M1

19 19 Summary Questionnaire to academics 33 Replies 27 Departments 19 Universities Follow-up Interviews 8 Academics 8 departments 5 Universities Good Practice

20 20 What does it mean? Large numbers of students’ entering with little or no knowledge of mechanics Serious consideration has to be given to a first university course in mechanics

21 21 Contact Details Stephen Lee Mathematics Education Centre Loughborough University Leicestershire LE11 3TU

22 22

23 23 Syllabi M1/M2 OCR M1 (2637) Force as a vector Equilibrium of a particle Newton’s Laws of motion Linear momentum Kinematics of motion in a straight line M2 (2638) Centre of mass Equilibrium of a rigid body Motion of a projectile Uniform motion in a circle Coefficient of restitution and impulse Energy, work and power

24 24 Syllabi M3/M4 OCR M3 (2639) Equilibrium of rigid bodies in contact Elastic strings and springs Impulse and momentum in two dimensions Motion in a vertical circle Linear motion under a variable force Simple Harmonic Motion M4 (2640) Relative motion Centre of mass Moment of inertia Rotation of a rigid body Stability and oscillations


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