Getting hooked on physics!
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McHugh, M., & McCauley, V. (2016). Getting Hooked on Physics! The Physics Teacher, 54(9), 548-550. doi: 10.1119/1.4967896
A number of papers in this journal have dealt with the idea of using hooks in physics instruction. A hook, as the name suggests, engages students in learning by triggering their attention and interest. Hooks can be any type of pedagogical approach—a question, a demonstration, a puzzle or video. They are generally short and center on the most interesting aspects of a topic. Here we focus on using Conceptual Change (CC) teacher-led demonstrations as the pedagogical hook approach. Conceptual Change is an instructional method mentioned by a number of authors to stimulate interest among learners. This is where an educator presents an issue or topic that has associated misconceptions. As the teacher explains the truth behind the concept, cognitive conflict occurs and the students’ initial perceptions are challenged and ideas start to change. However, the instruction used in association with the demonstrations must provide intelligible, plausible, relevant explanations so that students are convinced by the new ideas. The gap between prior knowledge and new knowledge has the potential to provide a strong stimulus for augmenting interest, engagement, and attention among students. Thus, CC can act as a hook in itself.