1. SCIENTIFIC PROGRAMME
1.1 The aims of the Seminar
- The Seminar aims to bring together those who are
involved with the training of teachers to teach physics throughout
the school age range in order that participants will be able to
share ideas concerned with ‘how to teach student teachers
to teach physics in schools’.
- It will focus on what teacher trainers can do with
their students in preparing them for work in school, but it will
also consider the means, practices, resources and support that
encourage and enable physics teachers to achieve, maintain and
enhance good quality teaching throughout their professional lives.
- The Seminar hopes to bring together teacher trainers,
scientists from universities and industry, researchers in education
and school teachers united in a common aim to improve the quality
of physics education.
1.2 Why is the seminar necessary at this time?
- The many factors that make the seminar timely include:
- A new emphasis on the professionalism of teachers
that requires a complex interaction of subject knowledge with technical,
pedagogical, social, administrative and organisational skills.
- The challenge, in many countries, to recruit and
retain in the profession enough high quality physics teachers,
at a time when physics graduates have a wide choice of careers
available to them.
- The educational demands of a scientific and technologically
based society where few citizens understand science well enough
to take part in scientific debate on issues of direct concern,
and many public figures are proud of the fact that they are not
- The need for teachers to improve their approach
to teaching physics so that recent and relevant scientific knowledge
is taught to students in a highly motivating way. Abstract physics
must give way to physics in context for most, whilst at the same
time preparing others for higher education in physics which may
be of an abstract aproach. Tools and methods must be offered to
students rather than answers to questions which have not been asked.
- The need for physics/science education -o begin
at kindergarten and continue throughout schooling. Young students
have an enthusiasm for scientific investigation and this needs
to be nurtured early and encouraged for all students. Good physics/science
education is essential for those who teach our youngest children
as it is known that many future scientists have already decided
to study science before they leave primary school.
- The likelihood that the mission, organisation
and cooperation of Institutions (Universities - Physics and Education
Departments - and Teacher Training Colleges) may need to change.
There is more to teacher training, and training for other professions
too, than subject knowledge!
- There exists of a vast amount of research on teaching
and learning that should be properly utilised in meeting the needs
of the trainee teacher.
- The interation of teacher training institutions
and schools in the training of teachers