International Conference on Physics Education 2011
"Training Physics Teachers and Educational Networks"
August 15 - 19, 2011
Physics Education is a cross-sectional discipline connected with almost all subjects in Physics. It is a recent research field on its own investigating the process of teaching and learning Physics with the aim to improve them. Many academics acknowledge the importance of Physics Education research and its role in exposing students learning difficulties in Physics courses. In addition, difficulties in getting messages across on how important teaching and learning processes are to the success, and lack thereof, of the physics educational system at large have also been realized. There are two characteristic views in Physics Education using different scientific resources and methods but interconnected with each other in manifold ways: one directed to the Physics subject to be taught, the other focused on the student and his ability to learn and understand Physics. For this purpose researchers in this field have to cooperate with scientists from other disciplines like educational theorists and psychologists and with teachers, as well. But the main partners are physicists from the different areas of Physics. Therefore it is essential for the development of Physics Education that these scientists remain willingly to make appropriate contributions to this field and to cooperate with the science educators.
Importance of training physics teachers at all educational levels
Recent research in Science Education shows that teachers have ideas, attitudes, and behaviors related to science teaching based on a lengthy "environmental" training period, the period in which they themselves were students. The influence of this incidental training is enormous because it corresponds to reiterated experiences acquired in a non-reflexive manner as something natural, thus escaping criticism. In fact, it is not possible to change what teachers and pupils do in the classroom without transforming their epistemology, their conceptions about how knowledge is constructed, and their views about science.
On the other hand, we have the problem of Physics curricula. The contents and how those contents would be communicated among Physics educators students, teachers, and students are also of high importance and concern. Recently the ICPE commission has given a very important recommendation on teaching Physics, which is related with active learning methodologies and laboratory work. Then, it is necessary to assist Physics teachers at all levels to have access on Physics Education results. Also, use of Information and Communication Technologies are very important to start a big program on training Physics teachers in our region.
The International Conference on Physics Education, ICPE 2011, will be held at Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico from August 15 to 19, 2011.