Each participant will be encouraged to develop an understanding of the methods associated with phenomenological or sense-based science. Comparisons between the methods of sense-based science and more classical approaches will be both encouraged and investigated. The emphasis will be placed on developing understanding through individual experience so that later presentations in the classroom are rich and authentic. The physics curriculum in all four grades may be briefly surveyed but major emphasis in the second year will be on the 10th and 11th grade. Various discussions concerning implementation of the curriculum and the relationship to the developing adolescent will also take place.
The class will have two central themes. The first will be to work with various phenomena associated with the curriculum to illustrate the methods used in the classroom while also giving the participants an active experience of how to demonstrate the phenomena. Most of these examples will be drawn from the more challenging topics associated with the 11th grade Electricity and Magnetism block as well as some of the finer points that need to be understood for a successful approach to the 10th grade Mechanics block. Secondly, the class will focus on related themes in The Marriage of Sense and Thought: Imaginative Participation in Science by Stephen Edelglass et al, as well as Rudolf Steiner’s Light Course so that a deeper appreciation for the importance of these methods becomes apparent. If time permits, an investigation of Georg Unger’s Forming Concepts in Physics will also be included, as the relevance of a clear concept of matter is essential for a successful understanding of how to approach electrical phenomena.