Parallel Pedagogy

Learning the Concepts Simultaneously, Introductory Mechanics

Pete Schwartz, Cal Poly Physics

We can learn physics much the same way we learn our first language – we just start using it while increasing complexity through iteration. Most every sixth grader can distinguish energy, momentum, force, and motion. Parallel Pedagogy begins there; stresses concepts, problem solving and picture drawing; while adding math only as it becomes necessary. Most students prefer this method and the great majority claim that this method makes them think more about concepts. This approach is briefly described in this short video, and more comprehensively described in this manuscript:

Additionally, I’ve announced this curriculum here in the OpenStax Physics Hub, and here in OERcommons.

While any kind of teaching environment would work for Parallel Pedagogy, I prefer a flipped classroom. Before class, students watch videos and answer questions through a web platform that records their participation. These videos and online questions are free and publicly available – see table at bottom. The class is also supported by three short, concise textbooks:

Lastly, the instructor is free to make use of the questions and solutions posted on the websites from the last five classes I have directed and am presenting directing (below). Additionally, through these websites, you can see my comprehensive student evaluations and the priorities and narrative developed in my classes.

I like the flipped classroom, because it leaves the class time open for demos, activities and group problem solving. Most of the homework problems are addressed (but usually not completed) during class. However, the parallel pedagogy could be taught in traditional lecture format equally as well.

My Advice for Easy Adoption of Parallel Pedagogy Curriculum: Go to the most recent class taught below in the area that interests you. Copy the websites and rearrange the lessons to fit your calendar. Set up an account on PlayPosit (I think it’s about $100 a year for you, but free for your students) and copy my set of “video-question bulbs”. This will allow you to immediately start teaching. You can tailor the video questions and switch out other videos as you become comfortable with the format.

Please contact me with questions, collaboration, or comments.

Calculus Based Classes: Fall 2019 (presently being developed), Fall 2018Winter 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017

Algebra Based Class: Spring 2020 (shortened curriculum, via Zoom). Winter 2020, Spring 2018, Winter 2019

Videos are posted on Youtube. Through PlayPosit, the instructor posits questions for the students to answer and saves this watching experience as a “bulb”.  Student participation is recorded for the instructor. The public is welcome to copy my set of bulbs as a starting point to being their curriculum. Below, at left are the links for my students who want credit for the class. In the middle are links for the public who do not need to enroll in PlayPosit (although it doesn’t cost anything). Direct links to Youtube videos are at the right. Many of these videos are marginal at best and should be redone. If you make a video that you want to share, please send me the link.

Public Talk about Parallel Pedagogy


  • Pete Schwartz, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo,
  • Dean Stocker, University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College,
  • Jenn Klay, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo,
  • Jason Tong, Brookline High School,

Video Name
PlayPosit for Credit
PlayPosit for Public
YouTube Video
Different Mechanics Class
This Class Edu Credit
This Class Edu Unenrolled
This Class YouTube
Say the Wrong Thing
Say the Wrong Edu Credit
Say the Wrong Edu Unenrolled
Say the Wrong YouTube
4 Kinds of Physics Questions
4 Physics Questions Edu Credit
4 Physics Questions Edu Unenrolled
4 Physics Questions YouTube
Displacement and Velocity
Displacement and Velocity Edu Credit
Displacement and Velocity Edu Unenrolled
Displacement and Velocity YouTube
Energy Flows
Energy Flows Edu Credit
Energy Flows Edu Unenrolled
Energy Flows YouTube
Acceleration Edu Credit
Acceleration Edu Unenrolled
Acceleration YouTube
Scaling Edu Credit
Scaling Edu Unenrolled
Scaling YouTube
Big Picture Mechanics
Big Picture Edu Credit
Big Picture Edu Unenrolled
Big Picture YouTube
Forces Effect on p, v, E
Forces Effect Edu Credit
Forces Effect Edu Unenrolled
Forces Effect YouTube
Pushing Box Problem
Pushing Box Edu Credit
Pushing Box Edu Unenrolled
Pushing Box YouTube
Drawing Kinematic Graphs
Drawing Kinematic Edu Credit
Drawing Kinematic YouTube
Smarter Every Day Grasshoppers
Grasshopper Edu Credit
Grasshopper Edu Unenrolled
Grasshopper YouTube
Graphing Running
Graphing Running Edu Credit
Graphing Running Edu Unenrolled
Graphing Running YouTube
Graphing a Ball Toss
Graphing Ball Toss Edu Credit
Graphing Ball Toss Edu Unenrolled
Graphing Ball Toss YouTube
Energy Work and Power
Energy, Work, Power Edu Credit
Energy, Work, Power Edu Unenrolled
Energy, Work, Power YouTube
Measure Power
measure power Edu Credit
measure power Edu Unenrolled
Vectors: Forces, Momentum
Vectors: Forces Edu Credit
Vectors: Forces Edu Unenrolled
Vectors: Forces YouTube
Vectors: Energy, Kinematics
Vectors: Energy Edu Credit
Vectors: Energy Edu Unenrolled
Vectors: Energy YouTube
Dynamics: Elevator Problem
Dynamics: Elevator Edu Credit
Dynamics: Elevator Edu Unenrolled
Dynamics: Elevator YouTube
Bozeman, Free Body Diagram
Bozeman FBD Edu Credit
Bozeman FBD Edu Unenrolled
Bozeman FBD YouTube
Body Position and Success
Body Position and Success
Friction of Foundations
Friction of Foundations Edu Credit
Friction of Foundations Edu Unenrolled
Derive Kinetic Energy
Derive Kinetic Energy Edu Credit
Derive Kinetic Energy Edu Unenrolled
Derive Kinetic Energy Youtube
Boat on River Soln.
Boat on the River Edu Credit
Boat on the River Edu Unenrolled
Boat on the River YouTube
Box slides down curved surface
Box Slides Down Curved Surface Edu Credit
Box Slides Down Curved Surface Edu Unenrolled
Box Slides Down Curved Surface Youtube
Accelerating Car
Accelerating Car Edu Credit
Question 4 (the accelerating car)
Inclined Plane
inclined plan Edu Credit
inclined plan Edu Unenrolled
inclined plan Youtube
2D Work
2D work Edu Credit
2D work Edu Unenrolled
2D work Youtube
2D Momentum Transfer
2D Momentum Transfer Edu Credit
2D Momentum Transfer Edu Unenrolled
2D Momentum Transfer Youtube
Estimating Vector Components
Estimating Vector Components Edu Credit
Estimating Vector Components Edu Unenrolled
Work on an inclined Plane
Work on an Inclined Plane Credit
Work on an Inclined Plane Edu Unenrolled
Work on an Inclined Plane Youtube
Mass on an inclined Plane
Mass on an Inclined Plane Credit
Mass on an Inclined Plane Unenrolled
Mass on Inclined Plane, Youtube
Centrifugal force
Centrifugal Force Edu Credit
Centrifugal Force Unenrolled
Centrifugal Force Youtube
Cow and Ship
Did a cow ever sink a Japanese ship?
Torque = angular momentum
Torque = Angular Momentum Edu Credit
Torque = Angular Momentum Edu Enunrolled
Torque = Angular Momentum Youtube
Coriolis Effect
Coriolis Effect Edu Credit
Coriolis Effect Edu Unenrolled
Video Name
Link to FOR CREDIT Educanon Video
Link to Educanon without credit or enrollment
Reference Link to YouTube Video
Car Collision Computation
Car Collision Edu Credit
Car Collision Edu Unenrolled
Car Collision YouTube
Slowing Down the Car Computation
Slowing Car Edu Credit
Slowing Car Edu Unenrolled
Slowing Car YouTube
Throwing Box off Cliff Computation
Throwing Box Edu Credit
Throwing Box Edu Unenrolled
Throwing Box YouTube
Graphing Kinematics
Graphing Kinematics Edu Credit
Graphing Kinematics Edu Unenrolled
Graphing Kinematics YouTube
Kinematic Functions
Kinematic Functions Edu Credit
Kinematic Functions Edu Unenrolled
Kinematic Functions YouTube
SPRINGS! Forces and Energy
Springs! Edu Credit
Springs! Edu Unenrolled
Springs! YouTube
Estimating in Trig
Trig Estimating Edu Credit
Trig Estimating Edu Unenrolled
Trig Estimating YouTube
Adding Forces Graphically
Adding Forces Edu Credit
Adding Forces Edu Unenrolled
Adding Forces YouTube
Pulling a Sled
Pulling a Sled Edu Credit
Pulling a Sled Edu Unenrolled
Pulling a Sled YouTube
Ballistics Pendulum
Ballistics Pendulum Edu Credit
Ballistics Pendulum Edu Unenrolled
Ballastics Pendulum YouTube
Hanging Dice in Accelerating Car
Hanging Dice Edu Credit
Hanging Dice Edu Unenrolled
Hanging Dice YouTube
Slack Line Walking
Slack Line Edu Credit
Slack Line Edu Unenrolled
Slack Line YouTube
Inelastic Collision in 2D
Inelastic Collision Edu Credit
Inelastic Collision Edu Unenrolled
Inelastic Collision YouTube
Reference Frame, Misc
Reference Frame Edu Credit
Reference Frame Edu Unenrolled
Reference Frame YouTube
Please Read Text
Please Read Text Edu Credit
Please Read Text Edu Unenrolled
Please Read Text YouTube
Gravity & Inverse Square Law
Gravity & Inverse Square Edu Credit
Gravity & Inverse Square Edu Unenrolled
Gravity & Inverse Square YouTube
Escape Speed and Gravitational Potential Energy
Escape Speed Edu Credit
Escape Speed Edu Unenrolled
Escape Speed YouTube
Potential Energy Graphs
Potential Energy Edu Credit
Potential Energy Edu Unenrolled
Potential Energy YouTube
1D, 2D Kinematic Equations
1D, 2D Kinematic Eqns Edu Credit
1D, 2D Kinematic Eqns Edu Unenrolled
1D, 2D Kinematic Eqns YouTube
Friction on an Inclined Plane
Friction on Incline YouTube
System of Masses: Atwood Mach.
SOM – Atwood Machine Edu Credit
SOM – Atwood Machine Edu Unenrolled
SOM – Atwood Machine YouTube
System of Masses: Energy
SOM: Energy Edu Unenrolled
SOM – Energy YouTube
System of Masses: Friction & Work
SOM – Friction & Work Edu Credit
SOM – Friction and Work Edu Unenrolled
SOM – Friction and Work YouTube
System of Masses: Dynamics
SOM – Dynamics Edu Credit
SOM – Dynamics Edu Unenrolled
SOM – Dynamics YouTube
Force of Fire Hose
Force of Hose Edu Credit
Force of Hose Edu Unenrolled
Force of Hose YouTube
Elastic Collisions with Lewin at MIT
Elastic Collisions MIT Edu Credit
Elastic Collisions MIT Edu Unenrolled
Elastic Collisions MIT YouTube
Elastic Collisions, Reference Frame
Elastic Collisions Ref. Frame Edu Credit
Elastic Collisions Ref. Frame Edu Unenrolled
Elastic Collisions Ref. Frame YouTube
4 Rotational Concepts
4 Rotational Concepts Edu Credit
4 Rotational Concepts Edu Unenrolled
4 Rotational Concepts YouTube
Rotational Units and Linear Correlation
Rotational Units Edu Credit
Rotational Units Edu Unenrolled
Rotational Units YouTube
Torque and Lever Arm
Torque and Lever Arm Edu Credit
Torque and Lever Arm Edu Unenrolled
Torque and Lever Arm YouTube
Moment of Inertia
Moment of Inertia Edu Credit
Moment of Inertia Edu Unenrolled
Moment of Inertia YouTube
Statics Edu Credit
Statics Edu Unenrolled
Statics YouTube
Angular Momentum, Karate & Skating
Angular Momentum Edu Credit
Angular Momentum Edu Unenrolled
Angular Momentum YouTube
Centripetal Acceleration Derivation
C.A. Derivation Edu Credit
C.A. Derivation Edu Unenrolled
C.A. Derivation Youtube
mass*centripetal acceleration =
vector sum of the forces
Mass*Centrip Accel Edu Credit
Mass*Centrip Accel Edu Unenrolled
Mass*Centrip Accel YouTube
Why does water stay in the bottom
of the bucket upside down?
Water in Bucket Edu Credit
Water in Bucket Edu Unenrolled
Water in Bucket YouTube
Bullet into Block – Veritassium
B.I.B. Experiment Edu Credit
B.I.B. Experiment Edu Unenrolled
B.I.B. Experiment YouTube
Bullet into Block Result – Veritassium
B.I.B. Result Edu Credit
B.I.B. Result Edu Unenrolled
B.I.B. Result YouTube
Bullet into Block Explained -Veritassium
B.I.B. Explained Edu Credit
B.I.B. Explained Edu Unenrolled
B.I.B. Explained YouTube
Parallel Axis Theorem
Parallel Axis Edu Credit
Parallel Axis Edu Unenrolled
Parallel Axis YouTube
Precession Edu Credit
Precession Edu Unenrolled
Precession YouTube
Diving Board Problem
Diving Board Edu Credit
Diving Board Edu Unenrolled
Diving Board YouTube
Skateboarding Loop de Loop
Skateboarding Edu Credit
Skateboarding Edu Unenrolled
Skateboarding YouTube
Tetherball (Conical Pendulum)
Tetherball Edu Credit
Tetherball Edu Unenrolled
Tetherball YouTube
Big Picture Rotation
Big Picture Edu Credit
Big Picture Edu Unenrolled
Big Picture YouTube
Angular Momentum of Pt. Mass
Angular Momentum Edu Credit
Angular Momentum Edu Unenrolled
Angular Momentum YouTube
Ladder Problem
Ladder Problem YouTube
Bicycle Transmission
Bicycle Transmission YouTube
Rotational System Dynamics
Rotational Dynamics YouTube
Flywheel Rolling Down Incline
Flywheel Rolling YouTube
Barbell Spinning in Space
Barbell Spinning in Space Edu Credit
Barbell Spinning in Space Edu Unenrolled
Spinning Skater
Spinning Skater Edu Credit
Spinning Skater Edu Unenrolled
Spinning Skater Youtube
Statics, Center of Mass
Statics, Center of Mass Edu Credit
Statics, Center of Mass Edu Unenrolled
Statics, Center of Mass Youtube