Virtual Classroom Visit: Tim Atherton, Physics 12

These videos are part of an ongoing project by Phil Gay and David Hammer called Student Centered Teaching at Tufts. Videographers visit classes around campus to record faculty members in the process of teaching in their classrooms, and to hear each faculty member’s reflections afterward, as they observe themselves interacting with students.

Tim Atherton’s Physics 12 class was beginning the study of electrostatics in the second meeting of the course, in the Fall 2014 semester. The lecture centered on demonstrations with a van de Graaff generator, and the students had things to ask and say about what they saw. Professor Atherton discusses choices to veer from his plans, working to be responsive and flexible to students’ questions and ideas, which he saw as bringing the class closer to scientific practices.