Physics is the study of the physical world that we inhabit. It refers to the natural science that studies matter and its constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the entities of energy and force. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, with its main goal being to understand how the universe behaves. So when a physics teacher is given the opportunity to educate students about the same, it should be considered a great opportunity to open their eyes to the vast number of possibilities that lie before them. However, this raises a question - why do so many students consider physics a difficult subject?
Why Physics is Considered Difficult
You don’t need a Ph.D. in education to know that a large number of students consider physics a difficult subject. It is important to know why this is so. Physics is quite a complex subject, and there are several reasons for it. Here are a few reasons why students consider physics a difficult subject:
It is Cumulative
This is the main reason why people consider the subject to be difficult. When studying Physics, students are not just studying physics - they must know everything from the basics of trigonometry, algebra, calculus, and a lot of mathematical concepts to make sense of the subject.
This is another reason why students find physics difficult. Physics as a subject can be quite demanding in terms of conceptual understanding, because it can have fundamental roots in complex mathematical concepts as well, and if the students do not know the mathematical basis they can be left clueless.
Lot to Memorize
Memorizing thumb rules and equations, and keeping them in memory to apply them in real-time is a fundamental requirement when learning a subject like physics. Not revising regularly can lead to students not being able to connect with the subject.
How to Help Students Overcome This Fear and Make the Learning Experience Fun
So, as a physics teacher, there is a lot of responsibility laid on the teacher to keep students interested in the subject and make sure they don’t fall behind.
Connect with Students
This, arguably, is the most important thing a physics teacher (or even a maths teacher) must do - students must be able to connect with them outside of their professional image. This might seem like a superficial thing because it doesn’t relate to academics but it is quite important. The logic behind this is quite simple - if the teacher is nice to the students and gels with them easily, they will automatically feel like putting in the effort to learn their subject. This does not exactly mean that the students will want to try.
Teach by Association
Teaching by association, in simple terms, is using real-life situations and instances students might have personally experienced to make concepts clearer to them. For example, let us consider that the chapter to be taught deals with the wavelengths of light and the phenomenon of dispersion. Right off the face of it, it sounds boring - but if explained in the right context and in the right light, anything can be made interesting. In this case, the whole concept can be made much clearer by making the students aware that this is what happens when they are seeing a rainbow. This will naturally instill in them the curiosity to know more about the concept and why it is so. Teaching by associating complex concepts with everyday phenomena they can experience can make students feel more comfortable with the subject.
Teaching with Experiments
Using experiments is a very effective way of making concepts easier to understand. For example, taking the previous example, seeing the experiments being conducted and witnessing the results of the same firsthand can definitely help students understand each concept with better clarity than if it was taught only by using theory.
One of the reasons a lot of students find physics so tough, as mentioned before, is that there are simply a lot of concepts to keep track of and memorize. This can be combatted effectively by conducting quizzes from time to time. Keep the subjects of the quiz related to physics and the concepts that have been taught in class, but the premise should be one of competition and excitement. That should be a sense of game or a competitive element to it to make the whole process exciting. To read more about how to conduct the quiz and make use of Teachmint’s features to take it up a notch, check out the blog here.
Present Them With Incredible Possibility
Physics is a subject that has incredible possibilities attached to it and has several job opportunities that come with the knowledge of the same. For example, physicists are instrumental in the defence industry which is both high paying as well as always on the four front of technology. Physics also opens doors to people who want to pursue a career in space expression or space technology which is very much necessary in today's context. The physics teacher should open the students' minds about the various possibilities that the subject presents and how exciting it is to study it.
Physics can be a little difficult to study especially if the students are going from 10th grade to 11th grade. This jump can be a little difficult to cope with at first because there is a greater cognitive load that is imposed on the students that we will have to get used to. However, with the help of a good physics teacher who has a concrete understanding of the basics of the subject, they will find it easier to study physics and even get good marks in the process.
Before concluding, it must be said that the student should also be willing to study that subject or at least put in the effort to make an attempt. What happens otherwise is that the teacher's energy will be wasted on trying to convince somebody who has no interest in the field of physics whatsoever.