Ex-nihilo: obstacles surrounding teaching the standard model

Kevin Alan Pimbblet

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The model of the Big Bang is an integral part of the national curricula in England and Wales. Previous work (e.g. Baxter 1989) has shown that pupils often come into education with many and varied prior misconceptions emanating from both internal and external sources. Whilst virtually all of these misconceptions can be remedied, there will remain (by its very nature) the obstacle of ex-nihilo, as characterized by the question `how do you get something from nothing? There are two origins of this obstacle: conceptual (i.e. knowledge-based) and cultural (e.g. deeply held religious viewpoints). This article shows how the citizenship section of the national curriculum, which came `online in England from September 2002, presents a new opportunity for exploiting these.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512 - 515
Number of pages4
JournalPhysics Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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