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Topic: Vectors and Forces
Replies: 3   Last Post: Jun 9, 2010 11:12 PM

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Kirk Weiler

Posts: 12
From: Arlington High School
Registered: 10/29/07
Re: Vectors and Forces
Posted: Jun 9, 2010 7:41 AM
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With all due respect to Mr. Burrell, I don't believe that the standards in any way indicate that students should be able to deal with a parallelogram of forces. The standard he is refering to simply states:

A2.A.73 Solve for an unknown side or angle, using the Law of Sines or the Law of Cosines.

That's pretty vague. In my humble opinion, students should only be responsible for applying the laws of sines and cosines to solve for side lengths and angles in contexts that don't require specialized knowledge in physics.

If the state wants students to solve specific types of physics problems, then it should create a standard that states as much. Otherwise it keeps us guessing.

What's next - some random application of these that requires special chemistry knowledge? Economics? How about structural engineering? We also can't fall back on the "but it has always been part of the curriculum" excuse. If it is part of the curriculum, state so. If not, then the assumption should be that it is not required knowledge.

The state tends to do these things all the time. Converting degrees to minutes and seconds! Where are minutes and seconds mentioned in the performance indicators? The answer is that they are not, thus should not be assessed.

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