Welcome of the Rector
In the last decade, probably
due to the acceleration of scientific and technological innovation, there has
been growing interest on the part of the scientific community and higher education
institutions throughout the world, on the problems concerned with the teaching
of sciences, the training of teachers and the development and spread of the
scientific and technological culture. In this respect the University of Udine
has been very alert and receptive, and has considered it to be an important
part of its cultural mission and social responsibility to contribute meaningfully
to the education and training of teachers and the growth and dissemination of
scientific and technology awareness in the society at large. Udine University
has developed therefore a number of important research initiatives and projects
in these areas, especially within the activities of the Interdepartmental Center
for Educational Research (CIRD), founded and directed by Professor Marisa Michelini.
The University of Udine is therefore very pleased to host this important international conference, which will gather in this beautiful and hospitable city, with its young and innovative University, scholars, researchers, and teachers, working in physics, pedagogy, education, psychology and various other cognitive sciences, all with the common purpose of addressing the crucial question in the teaching of science: how does formal thinking arise and develop?
The cognitive process of formalization is indeed the cornerstone of modern western science and the key to its success.
Looking at the conference programme I am very impressed and pleased to notice the extremely wide range of different teaching levels at which this problematic issue is addressed. I am confident that this Seminar will provide very stimulating pedagogical suggestions both to school and university teachers, and it will contribute to our understanding of how scientific thought develops and hence how it can be enhanced.
Finally, on behalf of the University of Udine I wish you all a very fruitful and pleasant week!
Prof. Furio Honsel