The problem with physics education is math education

By | November 15, 2012

I hope these two videos will make us think hard as well about the problems in mathematics education and how important it is to teach math in a way that they makes sense to students. Students are only able to apply their maths to the extent that they understand them.

Bring the mathematics back to physics!

This second video is an open letter to Mr. President Barack Obama. It presents a problem about Physics Education. The problem is as true in mathematics although I think for both physics and math, the problem is not just the curriculum but also in the teaching.

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One thought on “The problem with physics education is math education

  1. David Wells

    Dear Erlina

    Thank you for another very interesting post. I always look forward to receiving notification of your blog – and in this case I agree especially strongly that mathematics and physics are linked together in their problems – and, I will add, ought to be linked together more in their teaching. One of the bizarre features of physics teaching in the UK in recent decades has been (1) dumbing down, and (2) dumbing down by omitting almost all mathematics. The result is that as physics is becoming easier and easier (although to be fair to students they tend to study more and more subjects, so their overall work load is unchanged) and at the same time becoming more and more separated from mathematics. Amazingly, you can quite often see equations in mathematics textbooks which quite obviously refer to physical situations – but the textbook author ignores this connection, so that students answering the question will have no idea at all that there is a physical interpretation of the equation.

    May I also inform you of my own website – – which includes a mathematics education blog but which, however, as only a little material on it at the moment, being rather new.

    Yours sincerely

    David Wells


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