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ERIC Number: EJ860242
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Squaring the Circle: A Mathematically Rigorous Physics First
Goodman, Robert; Etkina, Eugenia
Physics Teacher, v46 n4 p222-227 Apr 2008
For more than a hundred years there has been a debate about the sequence in which high school science should be taught. Many advocates of "Physics First" support a more conceptual ninth-grade physics course followed by chemistry and then biology while supporters of mathematically rigorous physics favor a sequence of biology-chemistry-physics. This paper describes a new approach that incorporates some of the best arguments from both sides. The main idea is to teach a mathematically rigorous ninth-grade physics course based on algebra alone, avoiding trigonometry. By selecting topics from the AP Physics B curriculum that form a foundation for both chemistry and biology, one can establish an efficient science sequence. The goal of this paper is to describe this new approach to Physics First and present data supporting its effectiveness.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 9; High Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A