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Re-learning physics?

Discussion in 'Science' started by esupi, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. esupi

    esupi New commenter


    I'm hoping you might be able to recommend some good resources for learning physics - decent textbooks perhaps? I do have a B at A level and a related degree.

    I'm thinking of retraining as a teacher but have been working as an engineer for 10 years - it's a really long time since I studied a lot of the material, and I'd like to start doing some reading around it/memory jogging. I realise I'll do an SKE course to bring me up to speed if I go for this, but meanwhile I'll have applications and interviews to get through and would like to be able to at least recall some of the basics.

  2. lunarita

    lunarita Lead commenter


    A assume you mean re-learning for high school level - in which case I'd recommend having a browse in a bookshop if you can, or amazon if you can't, to have a look at the various text books and study guides on offer. Bear in mind that most GCSE and A-level textbooks these days are tailored to a particular exam board and there are some differences between them. Some text books are better than others but you might find a study guide would be better.

    I'm not sure of the rules re training and SKE, I had been working for 10 years when I did my PGCE and my degree was enough without SKE.

    Good luck, teaching physics is a great job!
  3. oscillator

    oscillator Occasional commenter

    I'd recommend an older textbook too which is probably pitching to a slightly higher level than you would need for most specs today. I quite like Calculations for A-Level Physics and A-Level Physics by Roger Muncaster. They are probably less than a tenner on Amazon...

    Teaching Secondary Physics and Physics Matters are more GCSE level and have been of great use to me.

    There is a thread from not too long ago on a 'Physics reading list' of sorts... You could try browsing back through this forum to find that thread for more suggestions.
  4. oHelzo

    oHelzo Occasional commenter

    As someone who was in a similar boat a few years ago with Chemistry (and lived to tell the tale), I agree with Lunarita. Get GCSE and A-level revision guides and find out what you know already and which areas you need to brush up on. In Science you will probably find you will teach at least some Biology and Chemistry too, so be familiar with those at Key Stage 3 at least.

    You might need a variety of sources to bring it to life/ help with more complex concepts. Things like the archives of the Royal Society Christmas Lectures were a bonus for me and there is some great stuff on BBC4 TV and IFL Science website, also I planned Geology and Botany self-study into holidays/ days out/ hobbies.

    Good luck!
  5. steve_cooke

    steve_cooke New commenter

    If you've been working as an engineer it is probable that your maths and physics will be good enough to at least make a start in school Physics - two of us in my dept were once engineers. However, it is normal in a UK school for you to teach Chemistry and Biology, at least through KS3 and probably to GCSE, as well. It may be those that you need to work on. Schools that specialise from Y7, like mine, are rare and mostly independent.
  6. esupi

    esupi New commenter

    I just wanted to say thank you for the replies. Apologies for the delay - I thought I'd already done this but apparently not! steve_cooke I think you are correct - just from being in schools it's clear that it's the chemistry and biology I'll need to work on - I just can't remember as much of it as I haven't been using it. I have some textbooks and have made a start on this now.
  7. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    The other thing you are looking for are the punchy and accessible descriptions of phenomena.
    eg. A force is a push pull or twist (with hand movements)
    Energy is a strange "substance" that exists in the universe and makes things happen. It comes in different forms - etc. etc.

    Mind you, I'm not sure where I found all mine. I've been out of it for a while now and can't remember many of them!! Sorry!

    Best wishes for your future teaching career.
  8. peterdevon

    peterdevon New commenter

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