Einstein in the classroom – an international approach

28 July 2017 | Source: Einstein in the classroom – an international approach

The Einsteinian Physics Education Research (EPER) collaboration met at the recent GIREP Physics Education conference in Dublin City University.

 

Paul Nugent with members of the EPER group in DCU.

Their aim is to increase the awareness of Einsteinian physics in second- level schools in Europe. At present much of school physics is dominated by Newtonian physics which the group consider is at odds with the importance of Einsten’s view of the universe, particularly so since the 2016 announcement of the first observation of gravitational waves, confirming Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

The group has grown from the physics education group at the University of Oslo and have now developed a set of digital learning resources for upper secondary schools in Norway known as Project ReleQuant. The project was established to investigate novel ways of teaching modern physics and to study students’ learning processes. The materials include lessons on quantum physics using films, animations and glimpses into the history of physics.  They aim to have students practicing thinking and making arguments like physicists and discussing questions for which physics does not always have clear, unambiguous answers.

While in Dublin the group met with the IOP Ireland teacher network co-ordinator, Paul Nugent. Paul has also been working with physics education resources from the Canadian Perimeter Institute. These have recently been demonstrated at workshops for teachers in Ireland organised by IOP Ireland with Stuart Farmer of IOP Scotland.

It is hoped to use both the Canadian and the Norwegian resources to bring some stimulating physics to schools in Ireland.