Teaching Mechanics

  • James T. BoyleEmail author
Part of the Advanced Structured Materials book series (STRUCTMAT, volume 100)


In this Chapter issues associated with teaching mechanics in its broadest sense are discussed. A historical approach is adopted throughout in the belief that this is important for novice students to help them comprehend the conceptual difficulties inherent in this subject. It also highlights the historical problems which its creators faced and the teaching methods used at the time. The Chapter describes a conceptual teaching approach, enhanced through technology, which was initially developed for physics education in large classes, although the pedagogy is based on Socratic Dialogue. For reasons which will become clear the focus is on introductory courses: it is considered crucial that novice students are provided with an opportunity to experience a different way of thinking about mechanics. An emphasis is placed on conceptual understanding before mathematical technique.


Teaching mechanics Teaching physics Conceptual mechanics Introductory mechanics History of technology History of science History of higher education Socratic dialogue Introductory statics Continuum mechanics Royal College of Science & Technology University of Strathclyde Mechanics institutes Technology in teaching Peer instruction Just in time teaching Simulation in teaching Large lecture format 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical & Aerospace EngineeringUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgow, ScotlandUK

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