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Physics Teacher Moves and Motivates Students at Parkview

By Student Reporters: John Buzbee and Hannah Smith  

Sean Gardner, a second-year teacher at Parkview Baptist School, is revolutionizing the structure of a traditional physics class by changing not only the way it is taught, but the way it is graded as well. 

Mr. Gardner teaches Physics, Physics (Honors), and Physics (AP). Instead of teaching using lectures and/or notes, students learn physics through direct application of concepts and get to see physics in action. 

His educational philosophy is that, “Intrinsic motivation for learning is more valuable than extrinsic motivation based on rewards and punishment.” He views grades as a direct response to what someone knows, not as a reward for the time a student spends working. More value is placed on students fully understanding concepts, rather than surface mastery.  Because of his methods, students are excited to go to class and have a surprisingly welcome outlook to graded assessments.

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