In the last few years
the Research Unit in physics education of Udine University worked at national
and international level for cooperation research programmes on the following
main topics: informal education for the connection from the daily knowledge
(of common sense) to the scolastic one; the basis education for science;
didactic innovation in scientific teaching; contribution of new technologies;
fundation of physics in the last century; formative orientation in the
scientific ambit and the related inservice teachers training. The
national cooperation programmes involve three main referents:
- the research units
of the Physics Departments in the Italian Universities (FE, MI, MO,
NA, PA, PD, PV, RM, TO ) of the MURST40% and of the CNR research programmes
in physics education (Fisiss and TIDIFI),
- the Centres of
the National Conference of the University Centers of Educational and
Didactic Research (CONCURED),
- the Italian Association
for Physics Teaching (AIF). The international cooperations are inserted
in the Group International de Recherche sur lEinsegnement de la
Physique (GIREP), in the European Physics Education Network (EUPEN)and
in the Forum Europeen de lOrientation Accademique (FEDORA).
In this context researches
carried out in our Unit produced educational proposals for the teaching
of the condensed matter (1-6), suggesting the problem of the introduction
of quantum physics in secondary school physics teaching (7-11) and the
problem of the teachers training (12-15). Curricular units for the conceptual
change in mechanics were in particular studied (15-16). A research experimentation
on the updating curriculum employing new technologies were carried out
(13-17) in this field.
The Centre Laboratory for Physics Education (CLDF) is the place in which
these studies are carried out, and where a multipolar analysis of teachers
formative needs are performed: researchers carried out by Udine research
Unit find there the cooperation and the validation of the school world
(14b, 14c). On CLDF is also relayed the CNR research on teachers
training in telematic net (TIDIFI) for the use of new technologies in
physics education, and the research made in the ambit of the Studying
and Undersatnding in Physics (SeCiF), which has been object of the MURST
cofinancing during the year 1999.
The use of new technologies for experimental work and the modelling in
physics were the methodological referents of original educational proposals
(18-24) and of the national coordinated research project on the inservice
teacher training, now under development (IMOFI).
The experimental activity using low-cost materials, even if realized with
new technologies as computer on-line sensors, inspirated also some educational
guidance activities for science (25-29).
The realisation of a exhibit with 120 simple experiments to build a bridge
between every day experience, produced 4 research lines: a) cognitive,
b) curricular, c) planning and realisation of experimental prototypes,
d) model for teachers training, and promoted the realisation of
a multimedia interactive system in telematic net for the study of thermical
states and processes (36-37), a small simulation software as a support
for didactics (38).
The international research underlines in fact the need of new educational
strategies for the conceptual change, capable to realize the transition
from common sense to the scientific view of the phenomena (39-40). In
particular, there are relevant conditions for learning, facilitated by
new technologies (41-42): the immaginative reduction produced by the real
time plotting of significant parameters in a phenomenon, the personal
involvement in making hypothesis and evaluation of interpretative models,
the peer discussion of ideas. The use of new technologies in education
involves a deep change of the role of the teacher, of their competencies
and of the personal interaction inside the class (43-44).
The central problem is the individuation of teachers education models,
integrating disciplinar and methodological aspects, in situated way.
Recent studies underline in fact the role of the personal involvement
during the professional activity in the activation of the fall up of the
process of training in the classroom work (45). The study of these processes
is urgent in scientific field, to produce materials able to activate scientific
conceptual change (45). New technologies give a great contribute on this
plane, offering new learning objectives for the school work (46).
A multimedial learning ambient in a more developped telematic net (47-48)
is the referring product for a far-away teachers training and in
a presence aimed to the didactic innovation in scientific teaching.
Studies done in the last two years were able to produce several types
of models for teacher education and for class- work, too (49-53). They
have been used in national research sperimentations in the schools (54-57)
and underlined the need of integrated modalities for the teachers
in-service training (56-57) and the different plannings for the laboratory
of didactic innovation (58).
A large-scale study (59) underlined the training need of Italian teachers,
while a research on the practic of didactic (60) opened new paths of in-service
teachers training through research. A parallel study on conceptual
changement in an informal education ambient (61) was able to focus some
important points about basis scientific education. Studies on university
didactic valutation (62-63), on superior didactic innovation (64) and
on university orientation (65-66) introduce the general problems about
university teachers training.
Specific disciplinar proposals (67-69) based on sperimental activity and
on a multimedial use of computers propose themselves in this context as
materials on which it is possible to realize resonace with learning paths.
In the new-born University Course for the Primary Formation and the Specializing
School for the Secondary-School Teachers, the results of the researches
above are the basis in order to face problems linked to materials and
forms of first formation, with a particular regard to the ambits which
are not yet explored, such as the basis scientific education and the introduction
of modern physics and quantum mechanical in particular. About these subjects
we have been able and we are still aknoledging competences for cultural
founded proposals, coherent to the formation of the physics teacher.