Kaarle Kurki-Suonio, Heimo Saarikko, Riitta Kurki-Suonio, Ari Hämäläinen, Seppo Andersson, Juho Tiili, Timo Olli, Veera Kallunki, Markku Parkkonen, Jussi Partanen, Johanna Jauhiainen, Jari Lavonen, Taina Makkonen, Pilvi Sihvonen
The group has continued its "Project of Perceptional Approach", i.e. search of constructive principles of teaching based on the conceptual and processual structure of physics (i.e. conseptualization of the separate but interrelated structures of physics) and on development of different kinds of applications for all levels of physics instruction. among other things this includes planning of didactically relevant courses for both primary and secondary school teacher education, development of the "teachers' laboratory of perceptional experimentality", development or adaption of demonstrations , the writing of two textbook series with extensive "Teachers' guides" for secondary school physics, and participation in the Idea-Bridge (Ideasilta) project on science for talented basic-school pupils.
The extensive complementary-education programme DFCL in Didactical Physics started in July 1996 was completed succesfully before the end of 1997 by 145 physics teachers and formed a part of the national development effort "Finnish mathematical and natural science awareness 2002". It was planned and realized by the research group of Didactical Physics and financed by the National Board of Education.
DFCL is a consistent whole (30 ECTS credits) of four tightly connected courses, Foundations of Didactical Physics, Conceptual and Processual Structures of School Physics, Perceptional Experimentality (Laboratory-course, planning of conceptually motivated experimental wholes for school physics) and History of Physics based on 16 years' systematic research and development of new relevant methods and contents for physics teacher education. More detailed information can be found here .
The responses by the participants indicates that the programme has been effective. The new practices of modern processual teaching and perceptional experimentality have become everyday practice in many of the schools of the participants. Several of the study groups continue their activity as local centres of development and about 60 participants have decided to continue their studies and research of didactical physics for higher degree.
The experiences and results of the project are still to be investigated and confirmed by research. A project for this aim has been started, although in a greatly reduced extent because of the completely negative attitude by the University central administration and the Finnish Academy towards this activity.
Three supplementary-education courses, for about 20 participants each, have been arranged for primary school teachers.
The work of the group is closely connected with the Graduate School for Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry Education. During the second full year of existence two more university departments joined the school having now 23 member institutes from 8 universities and more than 100 graduate students.
During several decades the Department has arranged a week's supplementary education fulfilling the requirements of the employment criteria for teachers at lower and upper secondary schools. This is noteworthy even nationwide. During the last few years a large number of teachers from the present colleges of advanced education have participated in these courses. Mainly teachers from the Physics Department have been the educators. The popularity of the course shows that such education is needed and the procedure will be continued with a yearly changing topic. In 1997 Electronics and Electricity was the theme of the course and it was attended by 64 teachers from lower and upper secondary schools, institutes of technology and polytechnics.