#15869
Profile photo of Andrew Normand

Hi David, Charles et al. This is what I have done so far on Forces.  I began with David’s version and, after a while, realised that this was not being very productive.  Specifically, I was building on many decisions and felt that I really needed to work in parallel to begin with.  So I started afresh with the original sent through, as follows.

 

I went through it all column by column, checking I was happy with the keepers and only deleting the deleters, where I was sure that they were fully covered elsewhere.  In many cases, this involved incorporating words or phrases into the keepers.  Thus many of the keepers have been altered, often in relatively minor ways.  They have been colour coded.  The result was a layer of keepers, expressed mainly as statements, as well as lots of other associated boxes which didn’t yet have a home.  I also generated some additional statements where I felt they were not covered.

 

I then merged this document with David’s (took a while) and am in the process of merging the individual statements, using the structure as set out by David.  The good news is firstly, that what I have done shows pretty good agreement with Alice’s keepers and deleters, and secondly that my overall keepers are pretty consistent with David’s.

 

What I am now producing, then, is a layer of statements only, under David’s headings, where I have selected David’s or my version or adapted by combining.  There are additional boxes which are there as points that don’t yet have a home or questions that one of us has raised.  I have combined a few of the headings where they seem to naturally come together.

 

I found David’s comments on the process very helpful and would want to add the following.  The more I have used VUE, the more I have enjoyed using it.  However, the ease with which we can create or manipulate statements in physics can potentially mask what I see as a pervasive problem.  Science often prides itself on making things as concise or parsimonious as possible and we often think that the more we can reduce things the better.  There are dangers of trying to reduce the statements too much (e.g. Newton’s First Law could be regarded as subsumed by the Second Law.  Does this make the First Law redundant – I would argue not).  Similarly, I think we have to be wary of providing statements that we think of as ‘self-contained’ because they never can be.  Any statement made can only ever make sense in terms of other statements/concepts/ideas.  All concepts are defined in terms of other concepts.  The tendency seems to be to develop/learn concepts and then to relate them to each other (but developing or learning concepts are fundamentally developing/learning relations of ‘concepts’, that often get reconstructed in the process).  It this context it will be to nail the statements/concepts first and then to focus on the links between them.  However, any attempt to make explicit what is implicit reveals that an almost never-ending conceptual framework is behind every statement or statement of a concept.  To this end I would argue that any statement, statement of a concept, or concept should be thought of as inherently relational – rather than fixed and linked to other statements/concepts.  Relationships between statements/concepts are, after all, concepts themselves.  And they do things to or reconstruct the statements/concepts they link.  So how does this relate for the project?  I would stress the need for redundancy in the final product – in other words we shouldn’t try to reduce so there are as few statements as possible.  Of the three requirements that the statements should be: self-contained; useful; and, the physics is correct, I think the latter two are far more important than the first.  So I have included some statements which appear to say the same thing in different ways, because the removal of either appears to be losing something.  The sum total of statements which appear useful (for people to engage with school level physics education) and where the physics (appropriate to school level) is correct should neither be thought of as self-contained nor reduced to the point where there appear no redundancies.  The key for me is that none of the statements in the final version are misleading.

 

Just my thoughts at this stage – apologies if not useful (or correct, or self-contained …).

 

In a day or two I will have finished and will send through.

 

Thanks

 

Lawrence

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