My interest in teaching about energy started many years ago when I first came across the extensive research on students’ difficulties in understanding the concept. However, much of the problem seemed to be not so much with the students but with the way that the ideas were presented in the curriculum. Confusions and inconsistencies in published materials and teaching approaches do not help students to learn.

The first section below describes some projects and publications I have been involved with which have attempted to suggest new ways forward. The second section outlines a website that I am currently building that aims to support the teaching of energy in the new national curriculum.

Projects and publications

Energy and Change: a Nuffield-funded project that used novel graphical representations to introduce ‘Second Law’ ideas to secondary school students.

Innovations in Practical Work: an SEP series of publications that included a theme on teaching energy using specially-developed practical materials and equipment.

STTIS Project: an EU-funded research project looking at the ways that curriculum innovations are transformed by teachers.

Papers: a selection of published papers and articles on teaching about energy.

A new website: EnergyX

EnergyX: Energy Across the Curriculum is a new website that is currently under construction. Energy is a fundamental concept across all the sciences, but it also happens to be a particularly difficult concept to explain. EnergyX is an approach that aims to support good practice in teaching energy in secondary school science.

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