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    • #15864
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Here is the file for Forces and motion file from the first workshop. It is in VUE format; you can get VUE from here:


      We have generated this file by taking the files that people worked on in the workshop:

      – combining them

      – de-duplicating

      – looking for items that most people had deleted and making them a weedy purple colour

      – looking for items that more than one group had kept and keeping them

      – generating statements of physics knowledge (green rectangles) to try to cover all the other types of statement. These are now in the top half.

      So, the attached file has two layers:

      A keepers layer that covers the semi-finalised statements – which are either based on firm results from the meeting or have been generated to cover a vague statement in the bottom half;

      A probably deleters layer which is vague or definite statements which should now be covered by the statements in the keepers layer. We have kept this layer so that you can check that you are happy that nothing has been missed in the keepers layer.


      The next tasks are to

      1. get rid of all extraneous and repeated statements – it’s quite likely that it will mean removing everything that is in the deleters layer of the map (below the gap). However, please do check that the upper statements cover everything. At this stage, you can simply delete stuff that isn’t needed – we have a record of, for example, performance statements, for later use if necessary.

      2 make sure that you are happy with each of the keeper  statements (those in the top half and on the keeper layer) – that they are

      * self contained

      * useful and

      * the physics is correct;

      3. Make some attempt to reduce the number of statements.


      Please do use this forum to discuss what you are doing. In the first instance, there will be two people working on this file.

      1312906013forces and motion combined processed flattened.vue

    • #15866
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand


      This is a quiet forum! I’ve spent a couple of days on Forces and Motion. I am conscious that a lot of work had already been put into this at the 2-day workshop, so there was a lot of useful material already in the file.

      I will attach two files:

      one is the Vue document;

      the other is a Word file of comments and thoughts on what I have done and wherre we might go from here.

      Because I have never worked out how to ‘attach a resource’, I will paste the Word doc below as well.

      Any progress elsewhere?


      Forces and motion

      What I’ve done so far

      I’ve been concentrating on getting the statements of concepts reasonably OK.

      Added headings in grey boxes to each column, to make it easier to see what’s where.

      Cut out duplicates, also a large number of statements which I considered over-detailed and which wouldn’t translate from one syllabus to another.

      Corrected any errors – there weren’t many, as far as I could see.

      Converted many ‘can do’ statements to statements of concepts.

      Removed ‘perform calculations’ statements since this is implicit whenever a mathematical relationship is stated.

      Put the grouped statements in order horizontally – there is a gradual build-up from left to right, but of course this is not unambiguous.

      Ordered the statements in each vertical column so that thy start descriptive and become increasingly explanatory and mathematical as you go down.

      Saved most of the contextual statements, without revising them much.


      What I could do more of to improve this

      Identify gaps that need filling.

      Energy needs a bit of thought.


      What might be done next

      Without knowing the intended uses of this material, it’s hard to say.

      Identify the BIG IDEAS such as energy, force, Newton’s laws – other concepts tend to flow from these.

      Identify more contexts (which seem to be mostly applications and history).

      Identify places where Ideas about Science (C21) can be developed.

      Think about how anyone is going to get anything out of this for their own uses.


      Comments on Vue

      I obviously haven’t got to grips with all the possibilities/features.

      It would help if there was a background grid to align things against. Also a snap-to-grid facility.

      It would be good to be able to draw lines around groups of columns to show how things form blocks.

      It would be good to be able to insert space between columns so that new boxes can be added, without having to zoom out and drag stuff about.


      1315467458forces and motion ds08sept11.vue

      1315467491notes on forces and motion 08:09.doc

    • #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.





    • #15870
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Hi Lawrence

      It’s good that you have been able to take a parallel look at this, and that we have ended up not too far apart. I am in two minds about VUE. One good thing is that you can make documents that are as wide and deep as you like.

      I am away now until next Monday so won’t be able to look at anything before then.



    • #15871
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Hi again David, Charles etc


      Attached is my version.  I would add the following points to what I sent previously:


      1)      The first thing you see is that I have added another layer of structure on top of yours, David.  In terms of grouping, I just really built on what you set out.  However, I have tried to break away from setting them out linearly, hence the pattern.  This can easily be reversed if needs be but I have imposed the higher level headings in part to aid navigation over the whole document.  It will be interesting to see the next part of the process in terms of linking statements (notwithstanding my previous comments above).   

      2)      As previously stated, many of our collective keepers have been amalgamated or altered, often in relatively minor ways.  The colour coding should be that ones I left untouched are green and ones I have altered, even slightly, are in orange.  However, merging the two documents led to some automatic changes in the colour coding that I wasn’t able to fully keep track of.  So it may be that some are the wrong way around – apologies for this, in case you don’t like a statement that I have credited you with or vice versa.  Headings are in grey still and statements that I think need particular attention are in pink.

      3)      I spent time converting non-statements into statements and generally tidying up some of the statements so that they can be more easily engaged with.  This was to avoid the tendency to either just delete or to leave statements/non-statements because they appeared cumbersome to engage with.  The statements now under ‘structure’, for example, could be refined or just deleted, although I personally would like there to be space for this sort of applied physics to be allowed.

      4)      I still think there is work to be done in grappling with the framing notions of: statements being self-contained; trying to be concise; and making explicit what is implicit.  I found myself preferring that the statements should be ‘full’ rather than ‘self-contained’, along with ‘useful’ and ‘physics is correct’.  However, even here, ‘forces are always in pairs’ would seem to be both useful and correct.  If I had a pound for every time I’ve seen a teacher use something like this phrase to then get into all sorts of trouble conflating Newton’s First and Third Laws, quite often concluding that one of them must be wrong.  My point here is that even useful and correct doesn’t always guarantee not misleading.


      Look forward to any feedback





      1318982749.~merge map.vue

    • #15873
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Hi Lawrence

      This all looks good. I’m in favour of including ‘applied physics’ statements. I also agree that we need statements about how to avoid getting in a twist over Newton’s third law, balanced forces etc. 

      My original impression was that these maps were to be of use to anyone at all interested in the landscape of physics – teachers, general readers, even Michael Gove checking out Newton’s laws of thermodynamics. Now it seems that our audience is mainly teachers. (Is that right?) So we might have one layer with ‘correct’ physics statements, another with ‘advice on sorting out the concepts’, another layer with contexts, another with (links to) school-type activities and other resources, and so on.

      Perhaps we are getting to the point where we can identify the different types of statements we have been generating and think about the architecture which will help teachers to find their way around them.

      Are you going to next week’s workshop?






    • #15874
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      I think we have to bear in mind that pupils will be looking at the raw statements as well. Teachers are going to print these off and turn them into revision sheets without any further editing whether we want them to or not.


      Let’s not repeat the APP statements ‘pupil speak’ saga.

    • #15875
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Hi David, Griff, Charles, Alice …


      In response to comments above/conversations and apologies if I have misunderstood any aspect of this:


      My first impression was in line with David’s i.e. that ultimately something would be produced that would be helpful to anyone with an interest in physics and in particular, school level physics.  So one crucial aim is to be able to influence the Government in terms of a consensus centred around the IOP about what should be in or out of a curriculum, or at least here is a framework for evaluating a curriculum.  Moving on from this, would be to provide a version to directly support teachers (specialists as well as non-specialists).  Our first job was to try to get the physics as clear as possible, and this was to start with trying to agree on suitable statements and then building on these to generate an overall framework for each of the main topics.  And then, presumably, the sort of structure that you are suggesting, David – that makes sense to me.  However, I think you and Griff have both pointed out that exactly what the purpose is and whether or not there will be multiple versions for different audiences is really important in terms of the language we use.  There are two main issues for me and I will try to be concise although …


      The first picks up from Griff’s point.  I must admit I have tried to minimise my engagement with APP.  I really agree that there is a problem that some (maybe even many) teachers will copy whatever resources they get their hands on and use it in the classroom, whether or not such resources/spreadsheets/statements etc. are helpful for their students.  So all sorts of information about processes to do with teaching or administrating teaching or administrating assessment find their way into the classroom, sometimes at the expense of things that would really help the students in their endeavours.  I devoted a chapter in my PhD to the problems of such regulative/administrative knowledge and how it can get used, and often misused, in the classroom.  So, for example, there was evidence of quite a lot of ‘linking’ between physics-led concepts and non-physics led ‘concepts’ going on that appeared to do more damage than good.  E.g. pressure and moments being linked because different aspects (what would be our ‘statements’) within each topic being in the same SAT’s level.  In fact in a whole teaching sequence to a Year 9 class on Pressure and Moments, no physics-led conceptual links were made between any aspect of Pressure and any aspect of Moments at all.  This can be contrasted with how aspects of Pressure and Moments can be linked.  For example, the SPT resources on Forces (see topic map) nicely illustrate how both hydraulic systems and levers are simple machines, using the idea of force multipliers and that both the law of balancing for levers/moments and the pressures in hydraulic systems follow from the principle of Conservation of Energy.  By contrast, there were plenty of non-physics-led links in the teaching sequence referred to and students appeared to be more encouraged to make links between e.g. a Level 5 statement to do with Pressure and a Level 5 statement to do with Moments solely on the basis that they were in the same Level.  And all this seemed to do was to reinforce that for a Level 5 or a Level 6 student (and they had it reinforced which one of these they were) they should look across the table showing what other statements were Level 5 or Level 6 or whatever rather than looking down the table to make sense of how “pressure is affected by the area the force is applied over” (Level 5), is related to a qualitative understanding of “relationship between force and area” (Level 6) and then “pressure = force/area” (Level 7).  Anyway, this bit of the research was thankfully before APP but I think what you are raising is really important – that some teachers are prone to passing on to students whatever comes their way, highlights the need for care in what is presented to them.  Here, I presume, we should only be focussing on physics-led conceptual links and then subsequently get into the architecture as David suggests.


      Following on from this is the importance of the language used at any stage of this as well as what I have referred to as the need for redundancy in the statements.  If I look at some of the language used in my version it could easily look like it was aimed more at e.g. non-specialist teachers.  However, I would prefer this sort of language that includes explanations/clarifications/helpful points to aid understanding as precisely necessary in the physics-only version of the map.  The reason we are so fond of narratives or mini-narratives is because the statements on their own simply aren’t enough.  I therefore see as necessary: that each statement should be thought of as being ‘full’ more than being ‘self-contained’; whilst we should continue to include some statements which appear to say the same thing in different ways, because the removal of either appears to be losing something.  Maybe I’m trying to say that the more ‘scientific’ and concise it looks, the less helpful it will be.  I think VUE is a really good medium for thinking in this way and can get us away from thinking about necessary and sufficient definitions, linearity, and ordering things in two dimensions.  It was only looking at VUE, that enabled me to replace the probably unhelpful term ‘redundancy’ (first came across it when trying to get to grips with complexity theory approaches to learning systems and it seemed to make sense to me then) with the term ‘overlapping’.  Of course, ‘overlapping’, that is exactly what I am trying to get at and VUE tells me that it is not just allowed, it can be encouraged.  Please see a very quick first attempt to represent how we could view statements that are deliberately ‘overlapping’, as opposed to those that we want to ‘link’ – in essence a different level of linking.  I hope this, and the attached, make sense.


      Sorry I have gone on – I am just trying to think out loud about this and I hope it is helpful.    


      Finally, David, in answer to your question, I will be at Workshop A (25th/26th) and look forward to seeing you there.


      Thanks for listening



      1319380227linking merge map-copy.vue

    • #15877
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Hi Lawrence  Thanks for thinking aloud. Lots of useful thoughts here – I hope we can take them forward over the next couple of days.

      See you tomorrow  David

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