Research

Dealing with uncertain data

According to Schüttelkopf a Fehlerkultur (failure management culture) refers to the way people in a society manage errors. It consists of a convention concerning what is considered as an error, which instruments are available to deal with them ans which set of skills is necessary for an individual to use these instruments. This is to recognize, analyse and manage errors.

Especially in Physics education learners come across a discipline, which usually divides more strictly between correct and incorrect statements than, for example, social sciences. Just as well it is known from research into Physics learning that intuitive and everyday concepts aquired prior to learning are often contrary to scientific descriptions of phenomena.

Therefore this field of research focuses on three perspectives concerning the Fehlerkultur in Physics teaching: real Fehlerkultur as mediation between learners’, teachers’ and a science’ point of view. Special emphasis is put on how quantitative measurements and uncertainties are dealt with.

Dealing with diversity

„This is my way, which is your way? There isn’t only one way.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Each learner has his or her own interest and skills. Dealing with divers needs of learners is one of the most challenging tasks for teachers (in training).

At the institute of Physics didactics material and further training for teaching at school and university are developed. These cover different facets of diversity:

  • joint learning and inclusion

  • diagnosis and individual assistance

  • classes that facilitate acquiring language

Real:Digital 

Real experiments as a traditional medium in physics teaching enable learners to gain direct experience with physical contents and methods. Digital media as innovative elements of physics teaching are becoming increasingly important in the process of digitalization. The research project "Real:Digital - the integration of two worlds" investigates the integrative use of these media and their conception on the basis of multiple representations.

  • What attitudes do learners and teachers have towards experiments and digital media?

  • Which conditions of success apply to the meaningful use of experiments and digital media in physics lessons?

 These and other questions will be discussed in the project "Real:Digital". In addition, the development of specific teaching and teaching concepts is pursued that enable learners to benefit from the respective advantages of real experiments and digital media.

New Technologies

New technologies have a lasting influence on the world of life and work. For this reason, our students must be prepared as well as possible in physics lessons. To this end, the Institute of Physics Didactics develops and researches teaching concepts and materials in the areas of digital learning, computer-aided experimentation with microcontrollers, and the use of 3D printing and 3D scanning in the classroom. Teachers can apply these technologies in a meaningful and cost-effective way in their classes to create a modern, appealing and competence-oriented physics class. Our developments include e.g. haptic models for atomic and quantum physics as well as various low-cost experiment material such as air cushion discs for kinematics experiments or experiment material for optical interference from the 3D printer for school and university use. In the field of computer-aided experiments with microcontrollers, we develop and research concepts, materials and experiments for the use of Arduino in schools as an inexpensive and transparent way of recording and processing measured values from a wide variety of sensors.

Models und Visualizations

Physics teaching uses models to provide learners with better access to scientific concepts. Visualizations of these models result from a complex interplay of reduction and focus on essential elements. Models and their visualizations form an essential foundation for teaching and learning physics at all levels of complexity.