Honoring the great work of PEER Physics teachers.
PEER Physics has made learning science both approachable and challenging for my students. Students feel that they can gather the evidence, reason about it, and create understanding together. As a teacher, I am able to do virtually no lecturing. The PEER Physics learning cycle is set out so thoughtfully, that the students do the learning, with my questions and suggestions guiding them so they can discover the concepts for themselves. This is the way I have wanted to teach physics, and the way I think my students learn best. The PEER Physics curriculum brings the components of learning together in an intentional, thoughtful process of learning which makes sense to my students. Here are a few of their comments from their review of the first unit:
- “I enjoy that we can start off from scratch and can use our brain and figure out the problems ourselves.”
- “I like how engaging it is, it doesn't just feel like you're talking at us, it feels like you really want us to have fun and understand what you're teaching.”
- “Most things we do ourselves and it’s not just the teacher talking non-stop until the class ends.”
- “I enjoy that you don’t just give out answers: you give us the chance to think for ourselves.”
This is exactly the kind of feedback that, as a teacher, I hope to hear.
Michael Sarbanes is a PEER Physics Instructor at Green Street Academy in Baltimore, MD.