Veteran educator fulfils vow to himself with CXC Physics
Stabroek News
March 18, 2007

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Co-authored by Clarence Trotz and Alec Farley, CXC Physics is just the latest offering in the Macmillan Science Series. But for Trotz, a veteran educator, the textbook is the fulfillment of a promise he made to himself when he started teaching at Queen's College almost half a century ago.

According to Trotz, he announced his plan to do a book right from the beginning of his days as a physics teacher at Queen's College in 1957. He sees physics as more than just another subject he taught in the classroom - for him it has been a romance of sorts. "It's something I have developed a love for," he says, explaining, "You always have a question to ask, and there often is no 'yes or no' answer."

But his past students also often asked a question: Where was the book that he had promised to write? Throughout the years, Trotz forged a successful teaching career, and he was the principal of Queen's College when he left in 1980. He was a member of the panel of teachers which drew up the CXC CSEC physics examination syllabus and he served as the first chief examiner for the subject from 1985 to 1989. He was also the principal of St Stanislaus College from 1980 to 1982 and Schools' Co-ordinator for Science and Mathematics in the Ministry of Education from 1982 to 1988 when he retired. He also taught in Montserrat and the UK, and in his retirement he continued to prepare students for CXC CSEC as well as the A and AS Level Physics examinations of EDEXCEL (London University).

But he had not found time to write the book he had always wanted to.

Then, seven years ago, he approached CXC about writing model answers to their CSEC physics examination questions. He was told that Macmillan held the franchise for all printed material concerning CXC examinations. Not to be daunted, he approached Macmillan for permission to do the model answers, but instead, he was persuaded to co-author a physics text, with former student Farley, another Guyanese. A year later, work on this dream project began in earnest.

Trotz says that there appears to be serious scarcity of expertise in the area of physics and he hopes that the text would provide a lasting guide for both teachers and students, not only in mastering the theory but also in handling the School-Based Assessment component required for CSEC.