Talk:AfroPhysics/Content/Lesson Plans

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I suggest that we put up a Physics lesson plans page where we craft physics lessons that are learner-centered in that they are:-

  • Activity based
  • Minds-on
  • Appropriateness to level of learner
  • Environment-relevant
  • Rely on improvisation
  • Problem solving oriented

Such a lesson could have the following format

  • Topic/Subtopic
  • Rationale
  • Objectives
  • Pre-requisite knowledge
  • Lesson procedure
  • References


--Vkizza 11:50, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

--GünOss 07:32, 27 July 2010 (UTC) writes:

Hi Vincent, hi Florence,

it is a great joy for me to see the two of you proceeding with our AfroPhysics project. Unfortunately I´ve been so occupied with our move that I did not read your work before. I feel it so encouraging for me too, that something is continuing from your side in Africa, as I began to doubt whether there is a true interest in local production of educational materials for physics in Uganda.

As here in Bavaria the summer holidays start by now, I'll gonna use one or the other rainy day to give my comments and possible corrections to your articles, if you don't mind.

Please, to increase my understanding of the backgrounds of your work, could you answer these following questions to me:

1.What is the original source of your texts?

Vkizza: We are trying to be as original as possible...of course using many textbooks as ref BUT only to get ideas so as to polish ours. (AS YOU ADVISED EARLIER). You know,we are members of the national teacher profesional development agency (SESEMAT) so we get some opportunities to interact with other profesional developers from elsewhere
--GünOss 09:25, 29 July 2010 (UTC)I thought so.
  • a) From the legal point of view I think it is ok to use text from textbooks, modify them, remix them, explain the content in own words. Thoughts are free, there is no copyright on thoughts. Only if we use longer passages without any significant change, we should cite like usuable in science. (I never did, so I could avoid this extra work up to now.
  • b) To tell you the truth, I can smell the taste of these old English books through the lines of a 2010 wiki text. For me it sounds somehow oldfashioned. Take the blacksmith with his anvil on the belly. I mean here in Germany I`'ve never seen a Blacksmith anymore at work, although they might still exist. I mean, watchin a blacksmith at work is not anymore everyday experience. Might be different in Uganda. Is it?
  • c) Inculturation: The girl in the bus, is that an English girl on an English school bus 1964, or is it an Ugandan girl 2010 on a minibus (in the Philippines they use “Jeepnees”).
I want to say: If we take the physical content (inertia) out of the cultural context (old English schoolbus) and put it into the true African context (sudden brake because a new passenger wants to step in f. ex.), we gain a lot.
  • d)New literature: I'll get some new textbooks for beginners physics from my school. We here in Bavaria have a subject called “Nature and Technics” (grade 5, 6, 7 at Gymnasium). It is a mixture of biology (grade 5), chemistry (6)and physics (7). Somewhat propaedeutic, that means creating pre science competences. With quite an amount of hands-on experiments. 2 lessons a week.
  • e) I can just give you an idea about what we do by telling the headlines:
Optics: Shadow, lightrays, reflection, braking, real and virtual images, the eye, optical instruments, light spektrum, mixing of colors

Electricity: electric circuits, charge, batteries, electrolytics, magnetism, Voltage, current, resistance Kinematics and mechanics: Speed, accelleration, equilibrium of forces, inertia, force, actio/reactio, mass, gravitational force, gravitational accelleration, electric forces, frictional forces, magnetic forces, addition of forces, Hookes law.

2.You've linked the articles as “successfully hold physics lessons”. Did you teach them already? How often? With what experiences?

VkizzaSome we have some we havent.In fact as we write, we are using eXe, so that our product can esily be made into a book on CD. It is wonderful when you use hands-on approach,even the so called slow learners log on. Our intention though is to go full blast on all we write.
--GünOss 09:27, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
  • a) In my opinion these 2 articles are not lesson plans, but rather scripts like in a school book. I could imagine, in first line this is easier and makes more sense than lesson plans, as it is a continuing course.
  • b) We could create a new namespace for them like “scripts”.
  • c) I wonder if all the hands-on experiences work easily. I did none of them myself, and often something works only if the experimentator is talented. Could you please mark, which experiment you performed yourself already and if it worked out easily or not?

3.You've made 8 chapters. I that the chapters in the Ugandan physics curriculum? Which level? Beginners? Age of students? About 13?

VkizzaThese 8 chapters define the ugandan(and most african) curriculum for foundations in physics.(10-14 yrs) we call it Olevel. the first 4 years of secondary education after primary.
We chose this just as starting point also bearing in mind that they are formative years and all problems students face with physics start here. However anyone can start from anywhere.(we expect you for instance to help us with upper classes!!<smile>.(A'level) By the way,we see this as a "revolution"!!
--GünOss 09:28, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
  • a) I'm not sure if I understood you right, you mean there are 5 (!) lessons a week in grade 5, 6, 7, 8? And if yes, are these lessons declared as physics or a science in general (like our “Natur und Technik”)?
  • b) At least, I get already exited about your answer, as there seems to be quite some space and time for natural sciences in the Ugandan curriculum, and this means it is really worth while to develop good materials.
  • c) Age 10: These are rally still children. (Our eldest is 11, so I claim to know.) We cannot come to them with the concepts of f. ex. “accuracy and precision”. These concepts are not suited for children. They make sense later, like in 3rd or 4th year. I think we have to have the age of our students very precisely in mind, when we write school book scripts.

4.How much time is there to teach this? 1 school year with 2 lessons a week?

Vkizzafour school years with,5 (40 minute each) per week.!!! We dont intend to write all that the curriculum requires but rather what can innovatively supplement whether in textbooks or elsewhere. What we have here are old english science textbooks that we want to run away from<smile>

5.For me, the text sounds like made for students, as found in a textbook. Did you have the students in mind or in first line the physics teacher who wants to prepare his lesson?

VkizzaWe want to write in such a way that both students and teachers can use them. Not only for teaching but also to ensure that the teachers understand the concepts well. By the way,you can be surprised at how much teachers here dont understand simple science concepts they teach!!!!

6.What I like about the course that you are going to create: It contains hands-on experiments that seem to me suitable for African circumstances. That means, all materials seem to me to be locally available and not too expensive. Is that right?

Vkizza In fact we discourage,all content where the equipment is not available here.
--GünOss 09:32, 29 July 2010 (UTC)Yes, this with the locally available materials for experiments is crucial. It will definitely encourage colleagues and students to try these experiments. Sometimes I wonder, if always all the materials are really necessary, or some are redundant or can be substituted by others. I think a great flexibility there would be of help. And, some need more explanation. What a “cardboard” is, I can imagine, but I do not really know. A photograph could help.

Some ideas for improving:

A. Chapter 1 seems to me fairly “dry”, that means theoretical and seen as a kind of prerequisite to start doing physics. In my view it could easily deter students. I propose to mingle the contents of this chapter into the other chapters, at places where it is needed, or perhaps more practicable, put the chapter as No. 8 at the end of the canon.

VkizzaThanks. we need more of such insights and also we intend to make a separate page for miscellaneous concepts such as the one you describe that draw on many concepts.

B. What do you think about adding drawings that explain and illustrate the text? I know this could be a lot of work, but these drawings could be simple, do not need to be too artistic, could even be done by a gifted student. For example showing an artist walking on a rope, with his pole … . But stop-

VkizzaYah! some of the drawings we have already made but just waiting to be posted. In fact noe of what is up so far is complete. it is sort of a skeleton that we need people to help us build

C.Is this an image well known in rural areas in Uganda? Traditional western Circus? Or is there maybe an African equivalent? I mean something drawn from original African culture, someone balancing on something?

VkizzaTrue! At east such objects are common laboratory equipment.

D.I like the example of the (school-) girl in the bus (inertia). This is everyday experience of our students. We can ask them about their experiences (might be funny ones) and extract the abstract notion of inertia of bodies.

VkizzaThanks,we need many more of these types.

Further ideas for improvement:

E) Ortography: In order to avoid writing mistakes I use the ortographic aid in Firefox: I use the add-on “English, America” and activate it. Makes things much easier.

F) Let us discuss directly in the wiki, if that is possible for you. Advantage: transparency of authoring process, for those who will possibly join us along the way.

G) You use eXe? Is that because you prefer to work offline?

H) The issue of old textbooks: I mean if you can find any kind of scripts (me too) that could be useful, especially more modern ones, we could use them. Read them, lay them aside, maybe try out what is beeing proposed and write about this. Ideas are free, thoughts are free, there is no copyright on experiments neither.

So please do not interpret any of my comments as a critique to your work, but rather as ideas for improvement. I would love you to continue and will work myself too on the project the coming weeks.

Best regards,


--GünOss 09:34, 29 July 2010 (UTC)Now, once again, please do not see any of the issues I mentioned as decouraging. The opposite: We can only grow with the challenges we face. I am at least very happy about your new start off as it brings me a little bit closer to a thorough understanding of what is going on in Ugandan schools and where the potentials are for the future. Still I'm doing comments on your work, but I'm yearning to edit articles myself.

I'm also eager to begin with the translation of Mechanics11 and Astro13 into English. Let us see what will be possible next school year.

Oh! Thanks a lot Günther. I am eager to start my personal way on Astronomy. Also recently there is a new project on robotics being funded by a USA govt agency at our school.We will also need all the ideas that can possibly come to us.--WikiFlora 10:50, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Hi Florence, nice to "see" you! I again would like to express my gratitude for your recent efforts. Astronomy is exiting, really, and the story with Eratostenes (an African!) is part of the history of astronomy. Maybe even we can do some of the translation together! About robotics: I myself have no idea about it, but it is being taught in our school in grade 6 as optional subject. Kind regards, Günther --GünOss 15:04, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

I am about to start a node here at the project page that will particularly deal with processes and tips on how to engage girls in physics.It is going to be,I hope,a practical resource for teachers interested in understanding and removing the barriers to girls’ progression in physics through a practice based inquiry process.itis going to be about making a change in your school or classroom and reflecting on whether or not what you did worked. Think of it as reflective practice with a little bit of extra reflection.Watch this space!!--WikiFlora 07:30, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Hi Florence, I'll do and contribute what I can.--GünOss 10:25, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Here are my intial thoughts linked from here--WikiFlora 14:33, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

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