‘Physics First’ Is Moving Slowly Into Nation’s High Schools
Resistance to change in science sequence continues.
Even scientists and educators who have an abiding love of physics acknowledge that much of society at large doesn’t share their affection. The study of force and motion has long been regarded as the most difficult, or at least the most intimidating, of the high school sciences.
“People have an innate fear of physics,” said Gabe de la Paz, who teaches the subject in the Clayton, Mo., school system. “ ‘Oh, I hated that class.’ Nine out of 10 times, that’s what people tell me.”
That reputation notwithstanding, a core group of educators believes that not only is physics more accessible than advertised, but it also can be taught earlier. They favor reversing the traditional lineup of high school science courses and teaching physics...
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