Lerarenopleidingen Science en Wiskunde/Rekenen

Mechanica, ‘common sense’ en ervaring

Tijdschrift voor Didactiek van de Beta-wetenschappen, uitgegeven door het Freudenthal Instituut, Universiteit Utrecht in de periode 1983-2014

Van Genderen, D.

Tijdschrift voor Didactiek van de Beta-wetenschappen
1990 – 8(3), 249-262

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The foregoing article by Freudenthal gives rise to some comments on the similarities and differences between mathematics education and physics education. The PLON group was certainly not opposed to "guided reinvention", based on pupils’ experiences and common sense. In the early years of the project, it was thought that ‘messing about’ with stimulating material would lead to experiments and to reinvention of physical rules. This approach, however, underestimated the complexity of realistic situations and the difficulty of physical ideas. In mathematics education you can build upon experience with numbers (prices, distances etc.), figures and graphs. In mechanics, on the contrary, the fundamental idea of force has a very complicated relation to ‘force’ in everyday experience and common language. The main problem is not in ‘proving’ rules like F = ma by specially designed experiments, but in ‘reinventing’ how these rules may be applied in practical contexts, e.g. in the domain of traffic or sports.

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