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Study program: Didactics of physics



Theme: Model of teaching University introductory physics course


Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. RNDr. Zuzana Ješková, PhD.

Form of study: daily

Annotation: At University level there are mostly traditional teaching methods based on lectures used. However, after the implementation of curriculum reform there is a significant decrease in the level of students’ knowledge and skills that enter University. The current situation calls for changes in education, concerning the first physics courses that students take part, in particular. These changes should lead to higher students´ engagement in their own learning implementing interactive methods even during the lectures shifting the traditional way of teaching to more active learning environment. The thesis is aimed at analysis of students’ level of understanding and skills before they start their University study, development of activities based on interactive approach, their implementation and analysis of their efficiency.

References:
[1] Proceedings ICPE-EPEC 2013 conference, August 5-9, 2013, Prague, Czech republic, Amsterdam, Active learning in a changing world of new technologies, Charles University in Prague, MATFYZPRESS publisher, Prague 2013, available on
[2] Thornton, R., Sokoloff, D. Interactive Lecture Demonstrations, Active learning in Introductory Physics, 2004 John Wiley and Sons
[3] Redish, F., J. Research-Based Reform of University Physics, available on
[4] Beichner, R., J., et al. ThHe Student-Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs (SCALE-UP) Project, available on http://www.per-central.org/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=4517
[5] Redish, E,F., Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite, 2003 John Wiley and Sons
[6] Laws, P. et al. Physics with Video Analysis, published by Vernier Software and Technology, 2009, ISBN-978-1-929075-11-9

Theme: Formative assessment in physics teaching at secondary school


Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. RNDr. Zuzana Ješková, PhD.

Form of study: daily

Annotation: Formative assessment is one of the most effective educational interventions to influence students´ achievements in their process of learning. Formative assessment is aimed at providing feedback to assist students´ learning. The main thesis goal is to analyse available formative assessment tools and consider their implementation to support learning in physics. The PhD student is expected to design a set of formative assessment tools for inquiry activities that will be consistently implemented into the inquiry-based learning scenario in order to develop understanding as well as inquiry skills so that learners assume more responsibility and become more independent in their own learning. The effectivity of the designed model will be evaluated by pedagogical research.

References:
[1] P. Black and D. Wiliam, Assessment and classroom learning, Assessment in Education 5, ,7 1998
[2] E. Etkina, A. Karelina, S. Murthy and M. Ruibal-Villasenor, Using Action Research to Improve Learning and , Phys.Rev.St Phys.Educ.Res 5, 010109, 2009
[3] W. Harlen, Assessment & Inquiry-Based Science Education: Issues in Policy and Practice. [online]. Global Network of Science Academies (IAP) Science Education Programme (SEP), 2013


Theme: Adaptation of Young Physicists Tournament problems for upper secondary school level


Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. RNDr. Marián Kireš, PhD.

Form of study: daily

Annotation: Each year there are interesting and unconventional problems solved within the Young Physicists Tournament (YPT). Students solving these problems develop their knowledge and inquiry abilities. There is a limited number of schools involved into the competition within afternoon activities. The problems as solved by students who present and discuss their research project changing the roles of presenter, opponent and reviewer. This system offers great opportunities to implement some elements also in regular physics education. The main goal of the thesis is to implement selected YPT into upper secondary school level in the form of laboratory exercises. The PhD student is expected to select problems for specific topics that are suitable for development of inquiry skills, adapt them into the guided inquiry level and design educational materials both for students and teachers. Consequently, the pedagogical research will be designed to test the developed activities and materials at schools.

References:
[1] HENDL, J. 2008. Kvalitativní výzkum: základní teorie, metody a aplikace. Praha 2008, 2. vydanie, 408 s. ISBN 978-80-7367-485-4.
[2] KLUIBER, Z. 2005. Tvůrčí náboj úloh turnaje mladých fyziků. Ed. Scio me multa nescire, č. 28. MAFY Hradec Králové 2005.
[3] Martchenko, I.: Preparation to the Young physicist`s tournament, [online]. Dostupné na internete: .
[4] MURCIA, K. 2008. Re-thinking the Development of Scientific Literacy Through a Rope Metaphor. In: Research in Science Education. Vol. 39, 2008, No. 2

Theme: Interactive methods and technologies in teaching physics of the microworld


Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. RNDr. Jozef Hanč, PhD.

Form of study: daily

Annotation: The thesis is focused on physic education research in the new curriculum (content and approaches) in teaching physics using the latest interactive teaching methods and digital technology. The new curriculum should more reflect the current scientific knowledge and technological progress as traditional. At the same time, it should provide the necessary foundation for future natural scientists and engineers, who will be working on such problems as the design of new conductive materials, data storage of high density and access speed, new communications technologies, nanoscience and nanotechnology, alternative energy sources, quantum computers, computer drug design, and modeling of complex systems involving extreme climatic and geophysical phenomena. The work of a Ph.D. student will be concentrated on a study, selection, and preparation of educational activities in physics of the microworld, supported by experiments. The main goal will be the research dealing with the implementation of the new content in the micro-world physics in the school curriculum with subsequent analysis of the impact and effectiveness of selected methods and technologies.

References:
[1] Chabay, R., & Sherwood, B. (2015). Matter & Interactions (4th ed.). New York: Wiley.
[2] Jones, M. G. (2007). Nanoscale Science: Activities for Grades 6-12. NSTA Press.
[3] Moore, T. A. (2016). Six Ideas that Shaped Physics: Units C, N, E, T, R, Q (3rd ed., Vols. 1–6). Boston: McGraw-Hill Education.
[4] Prutchi, D. (2012). Exploring Quantum Physics through Hands-on Projects. John Wiley & Sons.

Theme: Visualization of modeling in physics education using modern digital technology


Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. RNDr. Jozef Hanč, PhD.

Form of study: daily

Annotation: Developing the skill to model real phenomena around us is nowadays one of the key tasks of science and physics education. Open free modern digital technologies and didactic tools such as, for example, interactive dynamic documents (Jupyter technology with VPython, CAS system Sage, CoCalc cloud technology) allow simple and meaningful interconnection of visualization, qualitative, numerical and analytical approaches in real physical phenomena modeling. Such interconnection should not only lead to a deeper physical thinking, conceptual understanding, and perceptions of students but also to their motivation to positively grasp and study physics. The focus of the Ph.D. thesis will be the selection and preparation of educational activities with the support of appropriately selected digital technologies in modeling natural processes. From the research point of view, the main objective will be the research of implementation possibilities of new didactic tools and approaches in modeling and its visualization, with subsequent analysis of their influence and effectiveness in teaching.

References:
[1] Wang, J. 2016. Computational Modeling and Visualization of Physical Systems with Python. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
[2] Gallegos, R.R. a RIVERA, S.Q. 2015. Developing Modelling Competencies Through the Use of Technology. Mathematical Modelling in Education Research and Practice. New York: Springer, In: Cham, International Perspectives on the Teaching and Learning of Mathematical Modelling, s. 443–452.
[3] Bard, G. V. 2015. Sage for Undergraduates. Providence: AMS.
[4] Strogatz, Steven H. 2015. Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos: With Applications to Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and Engineering. 2nd ed. Boulder, CO: CRC Press.
[5] Blanchard, Paul, Robert L. Devaney, and Glen R. Hall. 2012. Differential Equations. 4th ed. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.



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Institutions


Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice
Faculty of Science UPJŠ

Departments


Department of Biophysics
Department of Condensed Matter Physics
Department of Nuclear Physics and Subnuclear Physics
Department of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics
Division of Didactics of Physics

Projects


Establish
Modernisation of education
Science on Stage
SCIENCENET
Do not worry physics
Students and teachers at CERN
Discover beauty of physics
Creative physics teacher

Projects


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