The pedagogical structure and activities included in the PET curriculum are designed to help students achieve the following three course goals:
Other pages on this web site provide information about the content of PET (Goal 1) and the Learning about Learning component (Goal 3).
The PET pedagogy is designed to enable students to develop physics ideas in ways consistent with how science knowledge is developed in a scientific community and with our understanding of how people learn:
Using prior knowledge to develop hypotheses about new phenomena;
Testing initial ideas with experiments;
Using this evidence and logical reasoning to suggest viable ideas; and
Engaging in collaboration and consensus to agree on a set of evidence-based ideas.
Students in PET have the opportunity to compare the ideas they develop in class with ones that are consistent with national standards and accepted by scientists. Specific reading and discussion activities included in the curriculum help students become aware of the nature of science (Goal 2) and of their own learning of the ideas (Goal 3).