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.
4.1 Workshop themes
activities will be inspired by the following themes.
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;
school activities, e.g., assessment, extension work, remedial work, ‘drill
2) Initial Teacher Education
The initial training of teaching professionals requires contributions from five
- pedagogy, psychology, sociology and communications
- 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?
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
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
4) Contribution of research into Teacher
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
- 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
- implementation of Sorbonne and Bologna
- 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:
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.
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
A Worldwide inquiry on teacher training;
and professional autonomy;
Indications for teacher training from real life
Peculiar characteristics of the quality and experiences of teacher
training in thee Far East ;
Experiments with low-cost materials in training
Toys in teacher training;
Naive conceptions: research results
for teacher training;
New languages for a new science curriculum;
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
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.
In-service teacher training: experiences and research..
P9: Distance training
P10: The contribution of the history and the epistemology of