It’s not what you cover

Walter Lewin on teaching physics:

What counts, I found, is not what you cover but what you uncover. Covering subjects in a class can be a boring exercise, and students feel it. Uncovering the laws of physics and making them see through the equations, on the other hand, demonstrates the process of discovery, with all its newness and excitement, and students love being part of it.

From For the Love of Physics

5 thoughts on “It’s not what you cover

  1. There is a[n apocryphal?] story that Victor Weisskopf said something along the lines of “Lecturing is like an exotic dancer: it’s not what’s covered, but what’s uncovered that matters.” Weisskopf and Lewin would have known one another well, too…

  2. That cover photo just screams, “Soon to be a major motion picture starring Robin Williams.”

  3. So both Lewin and Weisskopf said basically the same thing? Did one credit the other? If not, I’m imagining some scenario in which they both got really drunk, went to a strip club, and spent the next 10 years arguing over who came up with it that night.

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