Didactics of physics I

Physics, First Cycle
Educational Physics
3 year
Hours per week – 2. semester:

Enrolment in regular study

Admission to oral exam only after successfully completed lesson in micro-teaching

Content (Syllabus outline)

Reviewing topics from mechanics and thermodynamics at the introductory level but with emphasis on:

New approaches and methods in teaching and learning
Different representations used in analysing and solving physics problems
Recognizing typical difficulties and alternative ideas that students have about physics phenomena
Identifying physics topics that are typically difficult to understand
Learning how to handle demonstration experiments and other didactical equipment and how to effectively implement them in teaching/learning processes
Connecting thematics from curriculum with examples from nature, from everyday life, from technology and with current social issues.
Acquiring and improving rhetoric and communication competencies, including writing and peer reviewing skills.


PLANINŠIČ, Gorazd. Didaktika fizike : aktivno učenje ob poskusih. 1, Mehanika in termodinamika, (Matematika - fizika, 47). 1. ponatis. Ljubljana: DMFA - založništvo, 2011. 216 str.
J Strnad, Fizika I, DZS.
J Strnad, O poučevanju fizike, knjižica Sigma (DMFA) 2007.
A Arons, Teaching Introductory Physics, John Wiley & Sons (1997).
C Swartz, T Miner, Teaching Introductory Physics - a source book, AIP press (1998).
Tuje revije/Forign journals:
European Journal of Physics
American Journal of Physics
Physics Education
The Physics Teacher

Domače revije/Domestic journals:
Obzornik za matematiko in fiziko
Fizika v šoli

Objectives and competences

To understand how scientists devised the ideas and relations that constitute the content of a high school physics course.

To learn how to use a similar process in a classroom to help students construct physics concepts and relations.

To experience what it means to design and implement classroom instruction in conditions that simulate real classroom.


Ability to design and perform basic experiments for teaching topics in mechanics and thermodynamics.
Effective use of ICT (including computer controlled experiments) in planning and performing high school physics lesson.
Ability to communicate specific science topics.
Ability to do literature search on specific science or educational topics.
Being aware of ethical and moral values in teaching and communicating science topics.

Intended learning outcomes

Acquired knowledge
Deep understanding of concepts from mechanics and thermodynamics with emphasis on addressing typical difficulties that high school students have in learning these topics. Mastering different teaching approaches, methods and tools for effective teaching of these topics.

Design of unit plan and lesson plan for teaching the topics on mechanics and thermodynamics.

Awareness of typical difficulties and caveats in teaching and learning topics on mechanics and thermodynamics.

Transferable competencies – not limited on one subject only
Ability to communicate science topics with general (laymen) public. Effective use of experiments and ICT in communicating science topics.

Learning and teaching methods

Lessons, cooperative learning and peer instruction, active learning using guided inquiry, student seminars and project tasks.


Two grades: Grade from tests and exam
Grade from microteaching
grading: 5 (fail), 6-10 (pass) (according to the Statute of UL)

Lecturer's references

prof. dr. Gorazd Planinšič:
1.PLANINŠIČ, Gorazd. Didaktika fizike : aktivno učenje ob poskusih. 1, Mehanika in termodinamika, (Matematika - fizika, 47). 1. ponatis. Ljubljana: DMFA - založništvo, 2011. 216 str. (University textbook)
2.ETKINA, Eugenia, PLANINŠIČ, Gorazd, VAN HEUVELEN, Alan. College physics : explore and apply. New York: Pearson, [2018]. XVIII, 981, [42] str., ilustr. ISBN 0-134-60182-3. ISBN 978-0-134-60182-3. ISBN 0-134-68330-7. ISBN 978-0-134-68330-0. [COBISS-SI-ID 3165796]
3.JELIČIĆ, Katarina, PLANINIĆ, Maja, PLANINŠIČ, Gorazd. Analyzing high school studentsʼ reasoning about electromagnetic induction. Physical review, Physics education research, ISSN 2469-9896, 2017, vol. 13, iss. 1, str. 010112-1-010112-18, ilustr., doi: 10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.010112. [COBISS-SI-ID 3067236]
4.GREGORČIČ, Bor, ETKINA, Eugenia, PLANINŠIČ, Gorazd. A new way of using the interactive whiteboard in a high school physics classroom: a case study. Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, 2017, 25 str., ilustr., doi: 10.1007/s11165-016-9576-0. [COBISS-SI-ID 3059812]
5.PLANINŠIČ, Gorazd, ETKINA, Eugenia. Light-emitting diodes : learning new physics. The Physics teacher, ISSN 0031-921X, 2015, vol. 53, no. 4, str. 210-216, ilustr. http://scitation.aip.org/content/aapt/journal/tpt/53/4/10.1119/1.4914558. [COBISS-SI-ID 2802788]