4. A WORKING DEFINITION
OF THE SEMINAR
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.
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
time interfacing, data logging, modelling and new opportunities
- supporting school
activities, e.g., assessment, extension work, remedial work, ‘drill and practice’.
2) Initial Teacher
The initial training
of teaching professionals requires contributions from five major
- pedagogy, psychology,
sociology and communications science;
- didactics of the
- didactic workshops
centered on formative activities such as problem solving, planning,
and textbook analysis;
- practical activities
- 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?
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
- 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.
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:
between schools and universities;
- contribution of
fundamental educational research (e.g. cognitive, curricular) to
- action research;
- research into assessment
and evaluation of teacher training.
5) The Universities
of Sorbonne and Bologna agreements;
- the role of universities
in teacher education and training;
- the training of
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)
All the Workshops will devote their fifth and last session to the Seminar outcomes
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
4.2 The Plenary Lectures
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
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
- 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.