Laura's Reviews > Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics By Its Most Brilliant Teacher

Six Easy Pieces by Richard P. Feynman
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Nov 02, 10

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I may be one of the few scientists who is not a Feynman fan. He admits that his approach is to teach to the very brightest students, hoping that the others manage to catch something along the way. But, when you remember the man taught at CalTech--where basically every student is pretty darned smart, his approach seems a bit arrogant. He also claims that he had no opportunity during the lecture series to gain feedback from students--that this came only at the end of the course. Astonishing that such an obviously bright individual can't think of some way to gauge student learning along the way... perhaps by asking the students? Administering a quiz or otherwise collecting some data?

I realize this was a different time in university science education, where expectations were much different, but the fact that we haven't made a lot of strides in science ed on the post-secondary level increases my distaste for the old school approach.

I will confess his explanations are interesting, if you're already familiar with the material. I just couldn't get past feeling sorry for the poor souls who found themselves learning physics for the first time with this approach.
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message 1: by Rachel (new)

Rachel From what I've heard, Feynman is known as much for his arrogance as he is for his brilliance. You're not alone in your opinion.


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