Types of tuition available
Individual tuition is tailored to the needs of each student. Currently my students include junior high school students (to whom I teach both maths and science), some HSC students who require a little extra help and encouragement with their maths or physics to do their best, as well as some extremely able students from selective high schools who are taught at a more advanced level. I also teach a few students physics up to a university level in preparation for the physics olympiad. Please contact me to discuss your requirements.
Preliminary and HSC group classes
While I have previously offered group classes I will not be offering these in 2012 or 2013 (our toddler and preschooler are keeping me busy...).
Physics Olympiad preparation
I provide tuition to prepare students for the National Qualifiying exam in physics as well as for the end of year selection camp. One past student has represented Australia at the International Physics Olympiad.
Philosophy of teaching and learning
My aims in tuition are two-fold:
Approach to teaching
I believe my role as a teacher and tutor is to present maths and physics to students with genuine enthusiam and as a unified, coherent whole; making connections between individual topics as far as time and syllabus constraints permit. This offers the opportunity for students understand the material and so enjoy the particular pleasures that maths and physics have to offer, rather than simply having to commit isolated and apparently unconnected facts to memory, a process which offers little enjoyment or long term benefit.
As I see it, there are two steps in the process of students understanding new material in maths and science, which could be called 'exposition' and 'internalisation'. These may may need to be repeated a number of times until students are successfully solving problems based on the material unaided.
Firstly, some 'teaching' or 'exposition' is required, at a level tailored to students' prior knowledge. This will generally include some talk or explanation, drawing of diagrams and derivations, and whenever feasible will also include practical demonstrations, physical models and the occasional YouTube clip or computer animation to assist students to visualise and comprehend the material.
Secondly, we will spend some time doing supervised practice. For HSC students this will always include some time working with them on the kind of problems they will need to solve in their exams. This is an absolutely essential part of any lesson, as it is through solving problems and constructing answers, firstly with guidance and supervision and then on their own, that students learn ('internalise') the material.
At first students may simply learn how to 'do' particular types of problems. Over time however, the best outcomes, in terms of both exam results and terms of students' appreciation and enjoyment of the subject is achieved when students can increasingly see the connections between what they already know and the new material.
I expect that students will practise past paper problems at home between lessons and booklets of problems sorted according to topic are provided for physics students. Just as a professional runner will spend most of their training time running rather than reading about running, so it is essential that students spend the majority of their study time doing questions of the type they need to learn how to answer, rather than passively reading over their notes or making summaries.
HSC exam preparation for physics
For HSC physics (and the other HSC science subjects), the presence of extended response questions in the HSC means that students not only need to understand what I would call 'real' physics, they also need to master techniques for correctly interpreting and answering these 'social science' and 'history of science' questions efficiently, as they constitute a significant proportion of the exam. For this purpose, extensive use is made of the marker's comments, marking guides and exemplar samples which are available from the board of studies to ensure that all students develop excellent exam technique as an integral part of their tuition.