In the US high school physics usually means mechanics starting with Newton's laws, which requires an absolute grasp of algebra and eventually some calculus, so saying that other countries start with physics as freshman (13-14 years old) is extremely advanced compared to US standards. IS that what you mean?Caveat: the above description was my experience many years ago in high school.edit: just saw that you're the physics teacher. I see the AP curriculum has changed, just curious what countries teach their freshman physics which I assume require a grasp of algebra and calculus?
From the POV of school curriculum, mastering algebra 1 is the key to teaching real physics. Countries that teach algebra 1 earlier also teach physics earlier. In Texas, there are mumblings of pushing algebraic concepts down to 6th & 7th grades and making Algebra 1 on-level for 8th grade instead of 9th grade. I think this would be a good thing, but there will be pain and a certain percentage of students are going to be classified as not-on-level (yay for PC terms!).
One thing that really helps is to make the abstract more tangible and/or visual. That made me pay attention and learn again.
Xen were those foreign students average status quo or advanced ahead of their class versions? As we get super ambitious types from the immigrant pool the actual populace of China is not nearly as impressive as the immigrants who make it here.(based on my personal experience of course but it should be common sense that not everyone in China is math enhanced)Btw thanks for the breakdown, i do find it interesting because my impression is that most HS students don't even get to physics before graduation.
AP Physics C (calculus-based, on-level 12th, for all student who have completed a physics) - Kinematics, Dynamics, momentum, energy, rotational mechanics, electrostatics, electricity, capacitance, electromagnetism, magnetic induction, LR/LRC/RC/R circuits
I took that test in '98 and goddamn if it wasn't the most difficult and humbling exam I've ever had to endure. I had aced the underlying course at my prep school (which was taught by a Caltech prof), but I was so frustrated with the actual AP, compared to the half dozen other AP's I had knocked out with relative ease, that I only answered half of it, snapped my pencil in half, threw it off the front wall, handed in my test 90 minutes early and stormed out. Figured it was the one AP I had bombed. Instead, when the results came in, I got a 4 out of 5 (3 was passing at the time). Can't imagine how badly most students must have fared that year if I got a 4. Whoever wrote that test, particularly the E&M section, deserves a sharp stick in the eye.
Did you go to Polytechnic School?My situation was (luckily) better. My AP teacher had no idea how to teach Physics C, and had no way of teaching Calculus-based Physics (the only way to teach Physics, if you ask me), so I had to study on my own. I came out of the test thinking I'd be luckily if I got a 3, but ended up with 5s on both sections. (I think that counts as a humblebrag, whoops)