University of Udine
Interdepartmental Centre for Research in Education (CIRD)
Physics Department

Scientific programme

2. A seminar, not a conference
3. The programme
4. Participants
5. A working definition of the seminar
6. Outcomes
7. Application and contributions
8. Logistics
9. Travel
10. Conference fees
11. Payments
12. Deadlines
13. General information
14. Abstracts of the contributions
15. Contribute for the round tables
16. Forum
17. Arrivo a Udine - Welcome, registration, opening session
18. Proceedings


The seminar can be summed up as one in which the concerns of producing professional physics teachers for the demands of the 21st century are central to the programme. Teachers expect to receive high quality initial and inservice education and training as a right.

4.1 Workshop themes
The Workshop activities will be inspired by the following themes.

1) Teacher Education and new technologies

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) change our society, our way of learning and of communicating. They contribute to school activities and promote the personal involvement of each individual. Telematic networks open new windows on the world and allow the differentiation of class activities, in face-to-face teaching and at a distance. The use of multimedia realises a new context of communication and makes available a tool for work and for learning. On-line sensors extend our natural senses. Modelling tools open new ways and opportunities for learning in science. The new symbolic world of ICT helps to build bridges for exploring the world and developing formal thinking. Educating teachers in this context is not only a matter of training them to use the new technologies, it also implies helping them to adopt new working patterns. The discussions will include:

  • real time interfacing, data logging, modelling and new opportunities for learning;
  • supporting school activities, e.g., assessment, extension work, remedial work, ‘drill and practice’.

2) Initial Teacher Education

The initial training of teaching professionals requires contributions from five major areas:

  • pedagogy, psychology, sociology and communications science;
  • didactics of the discipline;
  • didactic workshops centered on formative activities such as problem solving, planning, and textbook analysis;
  • practical activities in schools
  • subject knowledge.

These five areas must cooperate in a coordinated, consistent and differentiated way in the education teachers for the upper secondary school, the lower secondary school, and the primary school. A major challenge which we now face is educating primary school teachers so that they are capable of offering a basic scientific knowledge to all childre so that they will become citizens who love science and are able to use science in their daily lives. Workshops will be devoted to ‘How to.......’ sessions, e.g.,

  • how do we teach trainees to teach physics concepts?
  • how do we equip trainees with a survival kit of ‘applied’ educational theory?

3) In-service Teacher Training and Teacher Training at a distance

A rich and differentiated in-service programme for the updating of teachers must find ways to reach all teachers systematically with an offering closely tied to the teachers' needs in their professional context and to their aspirations for promotion.
The discussions on the means and criteria for obtaining and identifying good quality education will be inspired by experiences and will concern aspects of:

  • curriculum updating;
  • teaching new ideas in physics and its applications from recent developments in the subject in order to inspire school students.
  • new didactical tools, new strategies and new methods.

4) Contribution of research into Teacher Training

A high quality education is supported by research: fundamental, applied, and targeted on the school context. Such research calls for the co-operation of two worlds. The discussions will bear mainly on the following issues:

  • co-operation between schools and universities;
  • contribution of fundamental educational research (e.g. cognitive, curricular) to science education;
  • action research;
  • research into assessment and evaluation of teacher training.

5) The Universities and the:

  • implementation of Sorbonne and Bologna agreements;
  • the role of universities in teacher education and training;
  • the training of university teachers;

The Workshops will be inspired by the four themes listed above, but the number of Workshops and their detailed topics will be determined by the contributions of the participants.
The Workshop configuration will include (i) an introduction by the Workshop leader, (ii) previously agreed upon contributions from the participants, (iii) discussion.
All the Workshops will devote their fifth and last session to the Seminar outcomes (see below).
We ask for three kinds of contributions:
1) results of research projects and in-school experimentation centred on any of the issues;
2) analysis of papers from GIREP proceedings, on any of the issues, that are useful for teachers;
3) thoughts on the Seminar issues in the framework of the themes of the GIREP Working Groups.

4.2 The Plenary Lectures

The topics covered may be:
The training of teachers as a challenge for achieving quality in science teachin;
Initial teacher training and the improvement of science teaching;
A Worldwide inquiry on teacher training;
Teachers' competences and professional autonomy;
Indications for teacher training from real life experiencs;
Peculiar characteristics of the quality and experiences of teacher training in thee Far East ;
Experiments with low-cost materials in training teachers;
Toys in teacher training;
Naive conceptions: research results for teacher training;
New languages for a new science curriculum;
Integrating research and training for conceptual change;
Epistemological aspects in the formation of science teachers;
The contribution of associations and thematic networks to the training of science teachers.

4.3 The Panel Sessions

The Panel Sessions will depend on the submitted contributions, but are likely to be drawn from the following list.
P1-P4: Proposals, models and good practice in teacher training:
- for infant school and primary school;
- for lower secondary school;
- for upper secondary school;
- for the university.
P5: General problems: how to integrate training in psychology, pedagogy and scientific content ? How can research in education contribute to the training of teachers? What kinds of Didactic workshops are effective? How does apprenticeship in schools contribute? How can the professionalism of teachers be evaluated?
P6: Specific contributions to the training of teachers: didactically oriented experimental activities, didactical materials, information and communication technologies, problem solving and planning.
P7: Breadth in the initial training of science teachers and guidance.
P8: In-service teacher training: experiences and research..
P9: Distance training and learning.
P10: The contribution of the history and the epistemology of science.