Professional development aimed at teachers delivering Physics. However, some of the courses might be of interest to those teaching general science.

This course is based on a presentation given at a 'physics teachers conference in 2014. The motivation for the presentation was an incorrect, and misleading, statement in a draft of the Australian National Curriculum:

“Planck, Bohr and Einstein integrated evidence from studies of heat radiation, spectroscopy and the photoelectric effect to develop the photon model”

Find out the real story of the "Birth of the Photon" through this course!

This course provides an introduction to teaching VCE Physics for beginning teachers.

Note: there is currently no content in this course at the moment, it is visible for testing only.

This course provides a basic introduction to the foundations of measurement. It focuses on the use of units and concepts related to their use.

It's likely that some (many?) taking this course already have significant knowledge of the course content. Others not so much. That's the nature of education. However, whether you know a lot or a little, I believe this course can be useful for you. I hope this course will reinvigorated your interest in the topics covered, and provide you with one or more of the following:

  • a chance to revisit, refresh and rethink your existing knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, and how you approach teaching it;
  • at least some interesting, useful information you didn't know;
  • new/interesting ways of thinking about the information and concepts covered;
  • stimulate you to develop new/interesting ways of including and presenting the content in your teaching.

Experimental investigations

[Note: this course is about "experimental uncertainties". You should not confuse this with quantum uncertainties i.e. concepts such as the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, though in some situations both concepts need to be considered.]

Whenever we state an experimental result it should be accompanied by an uncertainty. This is just as important as stating the units. For example, you might measure the period of a pendulum as:

$$1.5 \pm 0.2 \text{s}$$

Where the value 0.2 is the uncertainty. The course covers how you should evaluate and use uncertainties. This course will provide more knowledge than is required by your students, which will help you understand not only what your students should be doing but why they should be doing it, and you will be able to answer any questions they may have.

The course will cover related concepts such as precision, error and accuracy which, along with "uncertainty" are often misused by teachers, as well as students. It will help navigate the various resources out there from the original references (the internationally agreed GUM - Guide to Uncertainty and Measurement) to the VCAA resources.

It will also discuss concepts such as "validity" and "reliability" which are used in the VCE Physics curriculum but are not terms that are used in physics in general. In this sense we will discuss how what we do in physics is the same as, or differs from, other sciences such as Chemistry and Biology.

All about the pendulum, how to use it in teaching

This course is to help high school teachers teach special relativity.

Note: there is currently no content in this course at the moment, it is visible for testing only.