|C O N F E R E N C E
25 - 27 May 2006
Quantum theory and relativity form the bedrock of much of physics research done today. They are also immensely practical. These two theories were crucial to the development of numerous advanced technologies such as modern electronics, nuclear medicine and the GPS. In addition, Nobel prize winner Leon Lederman has estimated that 70% of the US's gross domestic product depends on quantum theory. In Ontario, quantum and relativistic physics occupy 20% - 40% of the prescribed syllabus, but rarely receive more than 10% of the time. Given their critical importance, how can we change high school physics education so as to ensure that they we do justice to them?
For the past 150 years, physics teaching has been dominated by content. We are now gradually realizing that this is not very effective in achieving our goals, and we are beginning to explore the Process Model. Real scientists donít do science by sitting in a classroom listening to lectures. Rather, they hive off a bit of the universe, poke it, and observe what happens. How do we allow our students the opportunity to model what real scientists do? This second theme of the conference will involve critically analyzing the merits and drawbacks of a number of innovative approaches to teaching physics. We know that members of OAPT are doing exciting work in the classroom. We invite you to share it.