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Re: [ontolog-forum] Imagery in Scientific Thought

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Stavros Macrakis" <macrakis@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 13:14:02 -0500
Message-id: <8b356f880712151014w314e4a66v625b789b33bd8604@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Dec 14, 2007 9:03 AM, Bill Andersen <andersen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
David Hestenes was my undergraduate physics professor (for mechanics)...

Funny thing about imagery.  The first day of class he gave us a test
-- a test of our intuitions about physics using pictorial situations.
There were 30 questions.  If you got less than 17 'right', he asked
you to leave the class because in all probability, you would fail.

I'm shocked.

If this was an introductory undergraduate physics course, then it should have been *teaching* more appropriate imagery to students.

If it was a more advanced course and people were failing this test, then the prerequisite courses were not preparing their students correctly (or were passing failing students).

Either way, it sounds like that physics department needs to rethink its attitude. It sounds as though its goal was to winnow out students rather than teach them. That may be appropriate in a graduate program, but not an undergraduate one.


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