Revised Nuffield Physics
The Nuffield Physics course for students aged 11–16 was first published in 1966. The course was revised and republished in 1977 following extensive consultations with teachers and visits to see the course in action in schools. Feedback from the O-level examiners also informed the changes made to the programme.
The revision aimed to retain the spirit of the Nuffield approach which had come to mean: 'learning for understanding in a course of practical exploration, leading to class discussion, leading in turn to more experimenting and so on, with a constant interplay between class and teacher, maintained by a sense of purpose and curiosity'.
The revisers of the course identified three main components of teaching for understanding:
- Experiments - pupils' own experimenting to give them experience of scientific work;
- Questions - essential learning aids to encourage thinking;
- Models and theory - a progressive discussion to give intellectual satisfaction.
The Teachers’ Guides were completely revised. The instructions from the original Guides to Experiments were incorporated in the new guides. A few improved versions of experiments were substituted. There were some changes of order - with topics moving to a different year. A major change was the publications of books for students. A set of four student texts was produced in response to many requests in feedback. The work for the first two years was included in one volume. The questions of the original Questions Books were largely rewritten and printed in the new texts. In addition the authors added sets of 'Progress Questions' that were easier and more factual.
Years 1 and 2 of Revised Nuffield Physics were planned as years of gaining acquaintance with materials, their properties and behaviour. These years also introduced various instruments, and the way scientists do things, and just a little of the way scientists talk. They were intended, as in the original...
The authors of Revised Nuffield Physics hoped that the third year of the course would be a year of capable play in physics, for students with a wide variety of abilities and interests. They wanted students to enjoy being scientists, doing experiments and sometimes thinking about them.
Year 3 included two...
The authors of Revised Nuffield Physics Year 4 used the imagery of a journey to explain how the year’s work fitted into the course as a whole. From this point of view, in years 1 and 2 the students took a journey in a bus across some of the foreign countryside of physics: making acquaintance with things seen from...
The final year of Revised Nuffield Physics was a year of important experiments and ideas, drawing upon the work of previous years, but expecting more imaginative thinking, more reasoning, and new experimenting. The aim was to help students to develop some taste for theory and to explore further in atomic physics in...