A New Order For Teaching Optics In the Secondary Classroom

A New Order For Teaching Optics In the Secondary Classroom

1 graduate credit
Instructor: Jeff Elmer

Most textbooks and curricular materials begin the study of Geometric Optics with the concept of reflection and its application to plane mirrors, and the virtual images plane mirrors produce. While all students are very familiar with plane mirrors, the production of a virtual image by a plane mirror is a very difficult concept for students to comprehend. This course will provide instructors of physics and physical science with a different sequence, which logically develops the concept of the more concrete real image first, before any mathematical analysis of images or the idea of a virtual image are presented.

Instructor Bio

Jeff Elmer

Jeff Elmer received a bachelor degree in chemistry education from UW-Madison and a master degree in physics education from UW-River Falls. He is the upper-level physics instructor at Oshkosh North High School and a 21–year veteran of physics teaching. Jeff has previously taught a Science Teaching methods class at UW-Oshkosh in 1999 and was on staff at the Modeling Physics and Physical Science Institute at UW-Oshkosh during summers from 2002 through 2005.

His students have received national recognition as U.S. Physics Team Quarter-Finalist in 2008, Semi-Finalists in 1992, 2000, 2001, and Finalist in 1993.

Jeff has been honored for his teaching, including the 2006 and 1996 Milwaukee School of Engineering Excellence in Teaching Awards, 2004 Wisconsin Association of Physics Teachers Excellence in Teaching and Service Award, and the 1999 Kohl Fellowship Award.

Course Syllabus

DESCRIPTION:

Most textbooks and curricular materials begin the study of geometric optics with the concept of reflection and its application to plane mirrors and the virtual images plane mirrors produce.  While all students are very familiar with plane mirrors, the production of a virtual image by a plane mirror is a very difficult concept for students comprehend.  This course will provide instructors of physics and physical science with a different sequence, which logically develops the concept of the more concrete real image first, before any mathematical analyses of images or the idea of a virtual image are presented.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & RECOMMENDATIONS:

You will need to utilize either Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Web Browsers. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version to include important security updates. Students that use other web browsers, such as Safari, do so at their own risk.

OBJECTIVES:

1. Experience the development of an alternate sequence when teaching Geometric Optics.

2. Provide a learning experience for teachers, such that, they may confidently use pinholes, aerial images, mathematical modeling, double lens techniques, and various demonstrations and experiments to enrich their students' learning experiences when studying optics.

3. Provide details for construction and meaningful implementation of various activities in the classroom setting.

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK:

The Adams State College Graduate Studies in Education has adopted a Teacher As A Reflective Decision Maker Model and the Wisconsin Standards for Teacher Development and Licensure, also known as INTASC (Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium) Standards.  Each course is designed to contribute to the development of one or more of the WI/INTASC Standards and if applicable, IRA and/or ISLLC Standards.

Franciscan values permeate the program.  The focus of every professional education course is on the learning of the PK-12 pupil.  Adams State College education courses infuse constructivist practices, use of technology, PK-12 collaboration, awareness of diversity, traditional and authentic assessment, research and real-world experiences into the professional development of the teacher.

INTASC STANDARDS:

Nearly all of the INTASC Standards are infused in this course at some level.  The first, fourth, sixth, and eighth standards are particularly applicable in the content and format of this class.

OUTLINE OF THE CONTENT:

LESSON ONE

Course participants will learn the fundamental behaviors of light traveling through a pinhole.  This lesson will also introduce ideas about how we see, the linearity of light, and the light ray as a representational tool.  Details for pinhole construction will be provided.

LESSON TWO

Course participants will see how the refraction or bending of light at the boundary between two different materials may offer the potential for steering light.  Using bridging analogies, various shapes of materials and how they steer light may be combined to form what we refer to as lenses.  The general behavior of light through lenses will be stressed.  In addition, the convergence or reunion of light upon the exiting of lens will be defined as a real image.

LESSON THREE

The production of real, aerial images will utilized to reinforce the behavior of light rays after treatment by a single converging lens.  Appropriate viewing locations, as well as the introduction of the light cone model will be stressed.  Activities that may be utilized to combat student misconceptions regarding lenses will be discussed.

LESSON FOUR

A Mathematical Modeling experiment for converging lenses will be presented in detail.  This provides a constructivist approach to the mathematical analyses usually completed when doing the thin lens experiment with students.  In addition, the double lens technique will be explained and illustrated so participants can have students collect data in quadrant two (virtual objects) and quadrant four (virtual images).

LESSON FIVE

Course participants will be presented with a conceptual framework describing the characteristics of the images produced by lenses that may be utilized with their students.  This framework provides students with a gut level understanding of the patterns that occur during image formation.  This framework also allows for a simple transition from lenses to mirrors.

METHODOLOGY

This content of this course will be delivered as an online experience with course participants independently developing educational activities and materials.

TEXT AND READINGS

  1. The general content of this course will be provided online in the five lessons of the course.
  2. Other readings required for the course include:
    1. E. P. Wyrembeck and J. S. Elmer, “Investigating An Aerial Image 1st; A New Approach For Introducing Optics Concepts”, The Science Teacher, 73, 51-55 (February 2006)

    2. F.M. Goldberg and L.C. McDermott, “An Investigation of student Understanding of the Real Image formed by a Converging Lens or a Converging Mirror”, Am. J. Phys. 55, 108-119 (Feb. 1987)

    3. F.M. Goldberg and L.C. McDermott, “Student Difficulties in Understanding Image Formation by a Plane Mirror”, The Physics Teacher, 472-480 (Nov. 1986)

Graduate Credit

1 graduate credit
Adams State College tuition: $55

Graduate level credit is provided through Adams State College. The Department of Teacher Education at Adams State College is accredited nationally by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and has program authorization from the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE).

To be eligible to receive credit, students must do the following:

  1. Pay the online course fee by purchasing a course activation code on this web site (AdamsStateOnline.com).
     
  2. Pay the tuition fee by registering as a student on the Adams.edu web site. Pay tuition by visiting the Adams State College registration form.
     
  3. Complete the online course at a satisfactory level of assessment, according to the completion requirements outlined by the instructor on the course syllabus.

It does not matter in what order the two payments are performed.

Registering for credit from Adams State College is optional.

Course Dates

Students are given a 2-month period in which to finish each course. Courses are offered continually throughout the year. Each enrollment period starts on the 1st of the month and ends two months later. Enrollment periods are listed below.

Students can enroll in a current enrollment period anytime between the 1st through the 10th of the month. Enrollments submitted after the 10th of the month will be moved to the next enrollment period.

For example, if a student registers for a class on January 2nd, he/she will be enrolled in the Jan.–Feb. enrollment period. If a student registers for a class January 11th, he/she will be enrolled in the Feb.–Mar. enrollment period.

Students moved to the next enrollment period will have to wait until the 1st day of the month to obtain access to their course.

Enrollment PeriodStart DateEnd Date
Jan.–Feb.January 1stMarch 1st
Feb.–Mar.February 1stApril 1st
Mar.–Apr.March 1stMay 1st
Apr.–MayApril 1stJune 1st
May–Jun.May 1stJuly 1st
Jun.–Jul.June 1stAugust 1st
Jul.–Aug.July 1stSeptember 1st
Aug.–Sep.August 1stOctober 1st
Sep.–Oct.September 1stNovember 1st
Oct.–Nov.October 1stDecember 1st
Nov.–Dec.November 1stJanuary 1st
Dec.–Jan.December 1stFebruary 1st
 
SKU ED589-V101
ASC Tuition 55.00
 
Online course fee: $140.00
 
Quantity
: *
: *
: *
 
product