Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, INNODOCT 2018

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Physics Experiments Planned by The Students Themselves - Higher Secondary Education
Peter Demkanin, Milan Kováč

Last modified: 07-05-2019


More than 15 years ago we started to implement in our physics curriculum for 17 years old pupils physics experiments planned by students themselves. Each student must learn, how to prepare and perform physics experiment. The leading idea of this endeavor is “student must do, what she/he wants, at least sometimes”. As a most problematic part of this task is, as has been proved, to teach students to formulate a problem - a question, which can be answered by an experiment and also to formulate a hypothesis, a prediction based on the previous knowledge or based on the information gathered from secondary sources. As important we also see the connection of planning experiments to the goals and aims of science education and sensibility of it from the view of pupils and their parents. Planning experiments by students themselves is a task involving a manifold cluster of means of knowledge gathering and utilization. As generally in creativity, the crucial role has memory. The student applies his/her knowledge. But, at the same time, he/she learns, what is the optimal, useful strategy and structure of working, optimal management for a teamwork. Within planning, a student flips through external sources of information, usually, electronic sources or textbooks, focus his/her attention to information interesting or potentially useful for the phenomenon examined by the experiment just planned. Student remembers, what equipment is available, looks for other equipment and material. Of course, the student also learns to write scientifically, to write in a manner, that nothing hampers understanding of the focus, process, and outcomes. Part of the article is devoted to the topic of development abilities of pre-service physics teacher‘s to scaffold the process of planning experiments of their future students.


physics education; open inquiry; planning; school science experiment

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