Physics didactic research & development

Bildleiste Physikdidaktische Forschung

ExBox – Digital

Digital media are increasingly being integrated into teaching practice and represent a link between school and the living world. However, the potential for subject didactic concepts is far from being exhausted. The aim of the project is to design teaching materials for chemistry and physics lessons that can be individually adapted to the performance level of the students. Adaptive learning aids in the form of learning videos and digital experimentation boxes (EXBOX) will be used to support students in the acquisition of chemical and physical knowledge and experimentation skills. The EXBOX offers the possibility for students to access learning aids (adaptive web-based training; augmented reality; learning videos with learning aids) depending on their performance level. This allows students to engage with the learning content at their own pace and level. The effectiveness of the materials on the learning behavior and the performance of the students will be verified by empirical studies. The goals set are to be ensured by an evaluation accompanying the course of the process.

Interest research physics in school the Salzburg studies

Interest is an important predictor of the perceived importance of a school subject. Since it has been shown in the past that physics was one of the least popular subjects at school, it is important to ask students about their interests in order to be able to convey interesting content in a research-guided manner during teacher training.

Development of everyday contexts in physics

The suitability of learned knowledge for everyday life and the possibility to apply knowledge in everyday life is very important, so that the learned knowledge is not spit off as “lazy knowledge”. Therefore, students should learn to apply physical knowledge to experiences and questions from their lives. It seems to be possible to open up almost all physical topics by means of everyday contexts. The link between suitability for everyday life, the development of a scientific view of the world and the critical questioning of experiences are in the foreground here.Furthermore, the demand to make physics more “suitable for everyday life” is growing in many places. Since students are not interested in physics and do not consider it relevant for everyday life, new concepts have to be developed in order to embed the students’ world in a physical context.The following contents are and were created:

  • Chemistry and literature
  • Physics and Literature
  • Game Based Learning – Playing in Physics Classes
  • Context oriented tasks in the university
  • Optical illusionsThe problem of invisibility
  • Art and physics using the example of the rainbow
  • Physics in film
  • Experiments with the thermal imaging camera
  • Physics in medicine

Textbook Research

Textbooks have a strong influence on the design of lessons. Physics textbooks provide a foundation for any physics lesson. Although they are primarily intended for students, they are used intensively by teachers to prepare and conduct lessons. Two main content dimensions are considered here. The quality of illustrations and gender relations in pictures and texts.

Learning cycles in science education

The present project aims to scientifically test the effectiveness and efficiency of the so-called learning cycle approach to teaching science subjects (physics & chemistry) to students between the ages of 12 and 14.Specifically, it will be examined whether the learning cycle approach(1) can contribute to an improvement of the ‘science reasoning ability’ (=scientific problem solving) of female students, which is understood as an essential sub-competence of scientific competence. For this purpose, the Science Reasoning Tasks of Shayer & Wylam (1980) are used.(2) contributes to an improved understanding of the nature of science and scientific methods.(3) leads to an improvement of desirable emotional-motivational student characteristics, such as self-efficacy, interest, and motivation to learn, which in turn should have a positive impact on classroom behavior and subsequently on student achievement (cf. Helmke 2012). To test these questions, accompanying questionnaires are used, which mainly consist of proven measurement instruments from empirical educational research. These factors are surveyed both situationally and in terms of traits that persist over time.To answer the questions of this study, quasi-experimental design with pre-post measurement is chosen (time period: 2 school years 2014/2015 & 2015/2016). (A Randomized Control Trial is not possible due to ethical and school organizational reasons.Seven female teachers at NMS of grades 6 to 8. from seven NMS (Neue Mittelsschule) participate in the study. The participation of the students and teachers is voluntary; the implementation of the study has been agreed upon with the Landesschulrat für Salzburg and an approval has been obtained.In order to ensure treatment validity, two workshops on the topic of learning cycles were conducted prior to the study; in addition, the research team will accompany the lessons with appropriate training events. In addition, the treatment validity will be formatively evaluated by using short questionnaires during the study.

Understanding and applying formulas in the teaching and study of physics.

The presentation and reception of physics formulas in college and school has been virtually unexplored, so it represents an interesting and fruitful area of research. The following research questions are intended to illustrate how the field can be approached:

  • Is there a relationship between high levels of mathematization and disinterest in physics?
  • How are formulas used by students, pupils?
  • Do formulas help in understanding physics or are they just tools for solving problems?
  • What help can be given in learning formulas?
  • Is there a way to learn the independent conception of formulas?
  • Are there preferred ways of presenting formulas?
  • When and why do formulas act as a deterrent?
  • How often are formulas used in the classroom?
  • What is the density of formulas in textbooks and physics books?
  • How do teachers relate to mathematization in physics?
  • Is there an opportunity to explore the important competence – understanding and using formulas – and to improve teaching and learning?

Verwendung von Experimenten im Sachunterricht

Über Fragebögen wird das Verständnis von Wissenschaft und Experiment bei SachunterrichtslehrerInnen analysiert. Die Verwendung von Experimenten im Unterricht wird ebenfalls anhand eines Fragebogens erforscht.

Natur der Naturwissenschaften

Die einfache Darstellung der Natur der Naturwissenschaften gestaltet sich schwierig, da hier nicht nur eine Sichtweise vertreten wird, sondern, wie bei jeder Sicht auf die Welt, unterschiedliche Denkweisen berücksichtigt und erläutert werden müssen. Es erscheint wichtig, dass sich angehende (Naturwissenschafts-)Lehrer mit diesem Thema beschäftigen, damit ihnen einerseits der (meta)theoretische Inhalt der Physik deutlicher wird und sie andererseits auf Forderungen des Kerncurriculums reagieren können, nämlich: Die Natur der Naturwissenschaft im Unterricht zu vermitteln. Es wird versucht eine Übersicht zu schaffen, die sowohl verständlich ist, als auch die Komplexität des Themas Natur der Naturwissenschaft nicht untergräbt und zu stark reduziert.

Mediale Moderne

Die Mediale Moderne als neues Zeitalter zeigt eine sehr starke Veränderung des Denkens, der Kunst und der Kultur auf. Deshalb scheint es ratsam, den Übergang von der Postmoderne in die Mediale Moderne, auch aus der Sicht der Naturwissenschaften, zu ergründen.

Untersuchung von Metallen und Polymeren mittels mechanischer Spektroskopie

Die Untersuchung der Inneren Reibung (Vibrating-Reed) stellt eine einfache und interessante Möglichkeit dar, atomare Prozesse zu analysieren. Hierbei ist es möglich thermisch-aktivierte Prozesse von thermisch-nicht-aktivierten Prozessen zu unterscheiden. Aktivierungsenergien können bestimmt und Aussagen über Ermüdungserscheinungen getroffen werden.
Es wurden viele Arten von Eisen-Aluminium Legierungen mit unterschiedlichsten Konzentrationen untersucht, so wie dünne Schichten aus PPV (ein Polymer, welches bei der OLED-Herstellung verwendet wird).