COURSE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: Development of interactive teaching skills competencies in prospective physics teachers; deepening of conceptual understanding of basic physics concepts with emphasis on their didactical aspects; familiarizing students with the results of physics education research and findings of modern cognitive sciences, and with their use in physics teaching. This course is followed by and strongly linked with the course Methodology of physics teaching 2.
COURSE DESCRIPTION AND SYLLABUS:
The topics listed below are also discussed in seminar, where students give their presentations.
1. Status and content of physics education. The need for radical changes in the teaching of natural sciences.
2. Important breakthroughs in the recent development of physics teaching. Learning as development of mental structures. Assimilation and accommodation. Results of J. Piaget and physics teaching.
3. Stages of cognitive development. Development of formal thinking and procedural knowledge. Application to physics teaching..
4. Concepts in physics and students' alternative conceptions. The importance of eliciting students' alternative conceptions.
5. Examples of students' alternative conceptions.
6. Constructivist approach to physics teaching (educational constructivism).
7. Problem - oriented teaching. Conceptual change. Cognitive conflict, concept substitution, bridging analogies.
8. Types of knowledge. Declarative and procedural knowledge. The ways of physics development and their consequences on teaching.
9. Observation, experiment, physics law.
10. Models and theories in physics teaching.
11. Historical overview of some larger projects in physics teaching in the world (PSSC, PPC, Nuffield, Project 2061, NSSE). Scientific literacy. World educational standards.
12. Organization of teaching on the principles of educational constructivism.
13. Methods and results of physics education research. Test construction.
14. Role of experiments in physics teaching. Use of computers in physics teaching.
15. Physics curriculum for elementary schools, secondary schools and gymnasia.
TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT METHODS: Teaching will be performed in a series of interactive lectures and seminars. Students will be graded through take-home assignments, two written exams during the semester and the final oral examination.