Title

Lessons that non-scientists can teach us about the concept of energy: a human-centred approach

Authors

Monica Leggett

Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

Institute of Physics

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

School

School of Natural Sciences

RAS ID

1790

Comments

Leggett, M. (2003). Lessons that non-scientists can teach us about the concept of energy: a human-centred approach. Physics Education, 38(2), 130.

Abstract

Energy is not only a core concept in physics but also a major issue in our post-Kyoto world. When using a constructivist approach to teaching, we need to be aware of students' preconceptions. A palette of alternative frameworks, which includes those used by adults within the community, can facilitate this. An exploration of energy issues with non-scientists within the community has generated some relevant insights. Participants' concepts of energy were multifaceted. Most had a strong personal component, but also social, technical and cosmic dimensions. Although many participants were uncomfortable with the terms `renewable' and `sustainable', they clearly articulated the social and technical requirements for a shift away from current fossil fuel dependency. However, the law of conservation of energy, a core belief of physicists, appeared to be totally absent from their concept of energy.

DOI

10.1088/0031-9120/38/2/304

 
COinS
 

Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.1088/0031-9120/38/2/304