SIS News Archive

Asking "Why" Powers Top IB Scores in Physics
Posted 10/12/2016 02:25PM
Not one to accept the standard answer, Mr. Eddie Bywater the IB Physics teacher at Shekou International School, encourages his students to dig deeper and ask why. Naturally a curious person himself, Mr. Bywater who is entering his 11th year of teaching, found himself drawn to physics. "I like to understand the why of things and am not satisfied with an easy answer. Physics is about understanding why things are the way they are. Though some of my students are future engineers, others just really want to learn about the world around them and physics helps them to gain an understanding."

The high level physics class of 2016 received an average score of 6.5 far exceeding the world-wide average of 4.60. "Our students had teachers in earlier grades that laid a solid foundation. At SIS, the 10th grade science program integrates biology, physics and chemistry into the curriculum which prepares students for the IB program beginning in grade 11. I set high standards for my students and my students live up to the expectations. Our students are dedicated and motivated," explained Mr. Bywater. "Because the class sizes are small, students get one to one time where we are able to discuss the "why" rather than just the answer. I also encourage peer to peer instruction and discussion so that students learn there is more than one way to think about a problem."

IB physics is structured to give an overview of several topics including mechanics, energy production and transfer, electricity and magnetism and atomic and nuclear physics. The focus is on teaching students principles in physics and then applying those principles to problems and situations. "Personalized learning is a key element of our students' success in the IB program. We intentionally keep our class sizes small which allows our teachers to engage students in in-depth discussions," said secondary school principal, Mike Livingston. He added, "Our teachers are experienced and understand that students learn and are motivated in a variety of ways."



Mr. Bywater learned that asking why starts early at SIS. "I have a daughter in kindergarten and a few weeks ago the youngest learners were taught to ask why. I am happy that she is learning to question things and that curiosity is encouraged, I just wish it would start after 6 in the morning!

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