Physics, Epistemology, and Teaching: Generalizations to Be Drawn from Results of Research on Teaching and Learning (A. Arons). Wrong Experiments as Didactical Tools (G. Cortini). Do We Need an Agreement with Mathematicians? (C. Bernardini). Modeling Software for Learning and Doing Physics (D. Hestenes). Contents of Physics: Essential Elements, Common Views (L. Viennot). Should Physicists Preach Wat They Practice? Generic Mental Modeling in Doing and Learning Physics (N.J. Nersessian). From Language to Concepts Appropriation in Physics: Case Studies of Some Difficulties (J. Grèa, J. Viard). Epistemology and Physics Education (M. Cini). Physics, Philosophy and Education (A. Cromer). What Do Epistemology and Ontology Have to Offer in Considering Progression in Physics Education (M. Monk). Physics Laboratory, Yesterday, Today, and... (G. Bonera et al.). Classical Physics: The Grand Laws of Scale: Their Place in Science Education (D. Hawkins). Conceptual Dynamics: Changing Students Views of Force and Motion (R.K. Thornton). Force versus Motion Conceptions: A Phenomenological Analysis of Physics Students Questionnaires (P. Guidoni et al.). The Language of Physics: A Case Study of the Concept of Force in Primary Education (P. Kokkotas et al.). A Modern Understanding of Origins of Students' Difficulties to Operate with the Weight Concepts (I. Galili). Modeling in Physics Education: A Computerbased Learning Environment in Newtonian Mechanics (G. Adaloro et al.). Words and Their Meaning in Teaching Thermodynamics (J. Ferbar). The Need of Changes in Elementary School Teachers' Training: The Case of the Energy Concept as an Example (R. Trumper). Modern Physics: The Big Game of Energy and Entropy (F. Wanderlingh). A Critical Analysis of the Language of Modern Physics (F. Hermann). Complexity in Biology: The Point of View of a Physicist (G. Parisi). Can We Understand Intelligent Behavior by Methodsof Theoretical Physics? (F. Guerra). The Struggle against Convention: Teaching Qualitativebased Introductory Modern Physics (C.J. Linder). Students' Conceptions of Quantum Physics (A. Mashaddi). A Fundamental Concept in Quantum Theory: The Superposition Principle (G.C. Ghilardi et al.). Special and General Relativity and Cosmology for Teachers and High School Students (KH. Lotze). Looking at the Second Law of Thermodynamics through the Eyes of Maxwell's Demon (D. Malizia, C. Tarsitani). From Effective Mass to Negative Mass (Z. Mulaj eta l.). How to Introduce Modern Physics Topics in High School Curriculum? (I. Costa, M. Da Silva Santos). Special Issues: Physical Laws Revisited (C. Agnes). Qualitative Methods in Problemsolving: The Evaluation of the Orders of Magnitude (D. Pescetti). What Should an Ordinary Man Know about Physics? (A. Aparo). University Education in Physics and the Needs of Industry (S.J. Joshua). Mediation by Text and Teacher's Prepresentations in Physics Education (M.J.P.M. de Almeida). Scientific Knowledge and Teaching Ability (A. Villani, J.L.A. Pacca). Teaching Physics and Biophysics for Veterinary Medicine Students and Specialists (D. Popovic, G. Djuric). Round Table on 'Perspective and Development of Research in Physics Education': Introduction (J. Grèa et al.). Concluding Remarks (M. Vicentini). Index.
The research in Physics Education has to do with the search of solutions to the complex problem of how to improve the learning and teaching of physics. The complexity of the problem lies in the different fields of knowledge that need to be considered in the research. In fact, besides the disciplinary knowledge in physics (which must be considered from the conceptual, the historical, and the epistemological framework), one has to take into account some basic knowledge in the context of psychology and the cognitive sciences (for the general and contextual aspects of learning) and some basic knowledge in education and comunication (for what concerns teaching skills and strategies). Looking back at the historical development of the research one may recognize that the complexity of the endeavour was not clear at first but became clear in its development, which shifted the focus of the research in the course of time from physics to learning to teaching. We may say that the research started, more than 30 years ago, with a focus on disciplinary knowledge. Physicists in different parts of the western world, after research work in some field of physics, decided to concentrate on the didactical comunication of physical knowledge.
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