Preconceptions in Mechanics: Lessons Dealing with Students’ Conceptual Difficulties by Charles Camp and John Clement, et al.

Download here.

This is a pre-publication manuscript for the Second Edition in pdf format. It contains a set of 24 innovative lessons and laboratories in mechanics for high school physics classrooms that was developed by a team of teachers and science education researchers. Research has shown that certain student preconceptions conflict with current physical theories and seem to resist change when using traditional instructional techniques. This book provides a set of lessons that are aimed specifically at these particularly troublesome areas: Normal Forces, Friction, Newton’s Third Law, Relative Motion, Gravity, Inertia, and Tension. The lessons can be used to supplement any introductory course that includes mechanics. Each unit contains detailed step by step lesson plans, homework and test problems, as well as background information on common student misconceptions, an overall integrated teaching strategy, and key aspects of the targeted core concepts. A number of the lessons are adaptable for college level courses as well. Evaluations using pre and post tests have shown large gain differences over control groups.

A complete bound edition in an easy-to-read format containing all nine units and CD Rom with customizable student materials is available from AAPT at:

7 thoughts on “Preconceptions in Mechanics: Lessons Dealing with Students’ Conceptual Difficulties by Charles Camp and John Clement, et al.”

  1. This is an excellent book with lots of well-thought out and engaging lessons. I used a lesson inspired by this book as one of my video entries for National Board Certification. Thanks for making this electronic copy available. Now it goes with me whenever my laptop goes with me.

    1. I just tried it and was able to load it in all three of my browsers. It’s a pretty large document so you will need to be patient. It loads quicker using Chrome or Firefox but when I tried to load it using Windows Explorer and it took over 30 seconds. Try again. You may also want to check to see if you have a current version of Acrobat Reader installed. (My apologies if you are an Apple user–I have no way to troubleshoot that platform.)

  2. I will immediately grab your rss feed as I can’t find your e-mail subscription link
    or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me know so that I could subscribe.


    1. It is presently loading fine for me in Explorer, Firfox and Chrome browsers–I do not have a way to test the Safari or Opera browsers–I’m not sure why you were unable to load the page–if you are referring to the download, it is quite large but it loaded fine for me in all three browsers as well.

  3. Teaching is a very difficult profession for reasons you have pointed out. The book sounds very interesting, I will certainly go to the AAPT store to check it out.

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