A SEMINAR, NOT A CONFERENCE
For many years,
GIREP conferences have been organised with ICPE (International Commission for
Physics Education) part of IUPAP (International Union of Pure and Applied Physics).
They are one of the main reference points for the international community concerned
with the teaching of physics. They offer a rich environment for the discussion
of physics education and research in physics education, bringing together school
teachers, subject academics and didactical/pedagogical researchers.
2000 a highly successful GIREP Conference was held in Barcelona (Spain) on the
topic "Physics Teacher Education beyond 2000". At that Conference it
was resolved that a series of Seminars should be launched, to take place in alternate
years, in which the participants would be encouraged to submit papers clearly
focused on narrowly defined topics with the aim of facilitating coordinated action.
In these Seminars there is more time for discussion and less for presentations.
The Seminars, however, are organised in such a way that all the participants have
the chance to present their thoughts and research and make their work known.
The first GIREP Seminar was held in Udine in September 2001 on the topic "Developing
Formal Thinking in Physics". At the end of the 2001 Seminar the participants
recommended its organisational structure as a model for future GIREP Seminars
- in particular for planning a Seminar on the training of physics teachers, as
a follow-up of the Barcelona 2000 Conference.