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One of my colleagues does something that may be even better: after settling on which boxes need attention, he asks his students (selected in rotation) to put box solutions on the board (he includes himself in the rotation). Some difficulties are purely mathematical; students simply get stuck applying the formalism. Answering such questions, even if the answers involve little more than working through the math on the board, is very valuable for clearing up misinterpretations of the abstract notation and for displaying manipulation tricks that students may not have imagined. However, I have often found that questions about the boxes often expose deeper problems that students are having with the concepts; answering these questions (and spotting the deeper problems behind them) can be I find that in about a third of the class sessions, I have time left over to work an example homework problem.
Teaching a question-oriented class does require being flexible, quick on your feet, and discerning about the deeper issues that lie behind questions raised. Being thoroughly comfortable with the material will improve your abilities in all of these areas. Some of this simply comes with experience, but please feel free to correspond with me via email if there are parts of the book you do not uncerstand. | |||||

You can purchase a copy directly from the publisher here. New! Online Student Manual available here. | |||||

Thomas A. Moore has been a professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department at Pomona College since 1987. He does theoretical research on detecting gravitational waves using LISA (now eLISA). Send him a message. | |||||