I have been tutoring Grade 11 and 12 Physics, AP Physics and IB Physics in Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, New Westminster & Surrey according to British Columbia province curriculum since October 2008. Before, I helped students from high schools and colleges in Asia with Physics, Math and Mechanics of Solids according to Western and International curriculum. I am also helping junior years engineering students with the subjects: statics, dynamics and strength of materials.
Physics The Most Fundamental Natural Science
Tadfan Waterfall in southern Laos
Physics is a foundation for all other science and engineering fields, and is used in various philosophies; thinking with natural science, earth science and space science. In fact, it is hard to find anything in our physical life where there is no Physics. Physics uses Mathematics as a great tool and partner as it is in all other science subjects. So Physics and Math go alongside each other in the progress of our knowledge building.
High school grades 11 and 12 students are required to learn introduction and general Physics that cover the fields of Mechanics (static and dynamics); Light and Wave; Electricity & Magnetism, as well as brief introduction to Modern Physics. In some curriculums Thermo Dynamics, and Fluid Statics within Mechanics are also included.
Basically the 1st year University Physics for Minors covers the same topics as in High Schools but with a bit deeper and wider scope.
Math is extensively used in both High School and Junior University Physics. Calculus is at the moment not much involved in High School Physics but it is a must in University Physics.
Since learning Physics involves scientific or logical thinking, visualization, imagination and sound reasoning and argument, most new students of Physics find it quite demanding and difficult subject. One reason why they have trouble understanding the subject maybe because Physics is a very much different thing from all other subjects they have been learning in the junior and current years. Physics requires students to start deep thinking; and serious attention is needed to understand the defination and concepts of each element and term, many of them are somewhat abstract models, in the subject. The terms used in Physics have in many cases different meanings from what the people use in daily matters.
There is no best way to help a student better understand Physics. It depends on how the tutor presents and explains, and how the student work to understand the subject. If planty of time is available, two runs of the study create smooth understanding without headache. For example while learning Mechanics the first run could be learning the details without touching the concepts and problems that need more difficult thinking. When you return to Mechanics after a while, for example after spending a couple of weeks on Electricity, you can focus on the tricky and/or more difficult concepts and problems. That is, you let the students think the more difficult things only after having some level of experience or maturity.
Ability of the tutor to create good examples, drawings and sketches is a great help for students to understand better and quicker.
As well students should also take practice in making neat and clear, non-confusing, diagrams. After all, diagrams are very important in understanding and solving many problems of Physics.
Good thinking and imagination are also necessary in all of Physics. In fact it demands a lot more thinking than many other subjects students are learning in parallel. It is like a whole new world of knowledge discovery.
Good reads on General Physics and Gravity
Another difficulty in learning Physics is that it is a never complete subject. New discoveries may change the old laws and understanding.
There will always be so many things that current Physics (as developed by human being) can not explain.
Therefore students should be informed about limitations, assumptions, things that are neglected or assumed in-significant and not taken into consideration, possible changes in the future, and dark areas or unknown things that we do not touch at the moment while trying to understand a Physics concept, theory, law or equation or relationship.
One important thing we must do is to relate Physics to real life problems so as to make the subject interesting to the students.
Application of laws of Physics in real life situations and problems greatly help the understanding power of students. Even with the current incomplete or inperfect Physics we human being have done a lot of development that students should come to understand, and be encouraged to make good responsible use of the knowledge.
At the same time importance of Math in all aspects of Physics should not be overlooked. Practice makes perfect in using Math (including Geometry and Trigonometry) smartly in Physics problems.
Physics will increase the students' view and understanding of the nature surrounding our life. By learning Physics we understand the laws of the natures or the rules of it that every matter including human being is subjected to. All our lives and objects are governed by these laws; there is no other way we can go about against these laws. Outside the Matter Physics the state of being alive is a subject which is beyond the reach of us for now - but which is being used to study the most important natural science: Physics. Even if students follow other fields of professions in the future Physics will always be useful one way or another.
updated 05 September 2016
My tutoring services are available for
- Physics 11 and 12
- IB Physics
- First Year University Physics
- Introductory Engineering Mechanics: Statics & Dynamics, Strength of materials (Mechanics of Solids)
Tutoring time: to be discussed to meet your convenience.
About online tutoring: I am finding the ways to do this. It is possible that two persons can discuss, write, sketch diagrams, learn and solve problems - the activities needed in Physics teaching - by email and online chat. I will update on this opportunity. If you know the way please let me know and I will be more than happy to try this.
One on one fee: $ 30 per hour (minimum 2 hours per session)
If more than two hours, $ 25 per hour from the third hour.
We can study at Surrey city centre library, Guildford library, Fleet wood library, Newton library or University campus in these areas. I may also go other places depending on the schedule and travelling time.
External links (open in new window):
- Universcale (Scale of the Universe presentation by Nikon)
Classical Mechanics (Wikipedia)
- Classical Mechanics (University of Texas)
- Simple machines (lever, wheel, pulley, inclined plane, wedge, screw, etc.)