Lecture 1/3 in the EPIC Lecture Series: Rethinking Physics Teaching

(EPIC: Educational Physics In Copenhagen)


Physics is taught in an amazingly similar manner worldwide. Why is that so? We can speculate on many reasons for this homogeneity, but is it reasonable to believe that we have found THE optimal way to teach physics? In reality, our traditions are so strongly established that one rarely asks why it should be exactly the way it is or if it is possible to do things differently.

In this lecture series, three clear exceptions to this rule will present alternative approaches and argue for breaking with tradition in physics teaching. The Niels Bohr Institute and the Department of Science Education gladly invite everyone interested in physics education to participate in this event. After each of the talks, participants will have the opportunity for fruitful individual discussions. Refreshments will be provided.

Feel free to get in touch with the organizers - Ricardo Karam ricardo.karam@ind.ku.dk and Ian Bearden bearden@nbi.ku.dk - if you need further information.

Lecture 1 – October 14, 2015 15.15 Aud. D, NBI (Blegdamsvej 17)

The Karlsruhe Physics Course: Teaching physics with substance-like quantities

Friedrich Herrmann - Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

The Karlsruhe Physics Course is an attempt to modernize the physics syllabus by eliminating obsolete concepts, restructuring the contents and extensively applying a new model, the substance model. The course has been used, tested and improved with an estimated number of 30.000 students. We introduce the structure underlying the course and discuss some consequences for the teaching of various subfields of physics. To show how the course works in practice, we present the first few lessons of thermodynamics in more detail.

Read also about lecture 2 and lecture 3.