November 28, 2022
Physics

ChatPhysics Author Q&A Book Review

Teaching Einsteinian Physics in Schools – An Essential Guide for Teacher in Training and Practice

By Magdalena Kersting and David Blair

Teaching Einsteinian Physics in Schools is an epic collection of instructional approaches, thoroughly explained concepts, and justifications for moving towards the teaching of special relativity, general relativity, and quantum physics in high schools.

The book begins by outlining the motivation for teaching Einsteinian physics, referring to changing paradigms in both science and education. We read about the predictions and measurements that have advanced science in our lifetime and the carefully thought-out descriptions provide the background on which the teaching approaches are built. The expert contribution to this book means that the content is accessible whilst retaining the high quality scientific literature.

The chapters on instructional approaches not only provide ideas for modelling and practicing Einsteinian physics, but are also accompanied by tried and tested exemplars, often followed up by an evaluation of the success. The acknowledgement of the limitations of these models provides excellent insight for anyone who might want to explore these further, and would support discussion with students to develop their understanding.

The final segment of the book has samples of implemented Einsteinian Physics teaching in classrooms across the globe, and gives an account of how the approaches were delivered in each context.

Conclusion

This book is perfect for those teaching physics in schools from a specialist or non-specialist background. It would support anyone wanting to develop their current teaching of Einsteinian physics, as well as those looking to introduce it outside of their current or curriculum or to younger years.

This extensive piece of work would be suitable for supporting long-term plans in a physics department, as well as supplementing existing units of work and extracurricular activities for those who are not currently teaching Einsteinian Physics.

The suggested activities for hands-on learning of Einsteinian Physics are well-crafted to ensure that even the most amateur students can engage with the fascinating concepts of relativity and quantum physics.

You can watch our Author Q&A for this book here!

Reviewed by Jinny Bell

Jinny has been a head of Physics for 6 years, and is now working in Northamptonshire. She has contributed to ResearchED Rugby 2019 and AQA's Inside Exams podcasts. Jinny tweets @missb0107

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