Talking About Energyedited by: Jeffrey Nordine

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In science teaching, we are used to thinking about language in the context of helping students learn complex scientific terms that they do not use in their everyday lives. It can be a challenge to help students remember the meaning of esoteric science terms, but when teaching about energy we often have a different challenge—helping students recognize when to connect a specialized definition to widely used words.

In energy instruction, everyday words like conservation, work, and potential take on special meanings that often do not align with how they are used in everyday conversation. Additionally, some energy terms commonly used by scientists, such as flow or forms, may imply to learners that energy has characteristics that it does not have.

This chapter is dedicated to unpacking the language that scientists use to discuss energy and identifying guidelines for using energy-related words as students develop their understanding of energy over time.

This free sample chapter also includes the Table of Contents, Acknowledgments, Foreword, and Index.

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