Most physics instructors are motivated by a genuine interest in their subject area and in using physics to understand real-world phenomena. While many premedical students may share these interests, most are motivated by fulfilling their degree requirements and gaining admittance into medical school. To achieve this latter goal, they need excellent grades and have to do well on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT),1 which includes a physical sciences section that may not coincide with the learning goals of many physics courses. Too often both sides simply give up, and courses come to some kind of unspoken agreement of how to go through the motions of completing the course with the least amount of mutual aggravation, while real physics falls by the wayside. But how exactly does this discrepancy manifest itself, and what—if anything other than giving up—can be done about it? In this paper, I first survey learner beliefs, expectations, and preferences and then attempt to identify approaches and resources that may partly address the identified issues.
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PAPERS| December 01 2007
The Challenge of Teaching Introductory Physics to Premedical Students
Phys. Teach. 45, 552–557 (2007)
Gerd Kortemeyer; The Challenge of Teaching Introductory Physics to Premedical Students. Phys. Teach. 1 December 2007; 45 (9): 552–557. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.2809149
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