Didactics of physics 3

Educational Physics, Second Cycle
1 in 2 year
Course director:
Lecturer (contact person):
Hours per week – 1. semester:

Enrolment in regular study

Successful completion of the first year of Physics Education master study or equivalent program.

Admission to oral exam only after successfully completed lesson in micro-teaching and lesson in one of the Slovenian high-schools

Content (Syllabus outline)
  1. Didactical aspects of the following topics

Modern physics

With emphasis on:

New approaches and methods in teaching and learning
Different representations used in analyzing 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
Design and use of 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.

  1. Modern approaches in teaching phyiscs:

Overview of some major active learning methods for teaching physics

Research in physics education: fields, methods, application in practice

Work with students that require special needs (students with difficulties and gifted students)


Etkina E, Gentile M, Van Heuvelen A, College Physics, Pearson, 2014.
PLANINŠIČ, Gorazd. Didaktika fizike : aktivno učenje ob poskusih. 1, Mehanika in termodinamika, (Matematika - fizika, 47). 1. ponatis. Ljubljana: DMFA - založništvo, 2011. 216 str.
A Arons, Teaching Introductory Physics, John Wiley & Sons (1997).
J Strnad, Fizika I in II, DZS.
J Strnad, O poučevanju fizike, knjižica Sigma (DMFA) 2007.
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

Students will be able to create environment for active learning, asses the achievements of learning goals and be able to use experiments and ICT productively for the following topics: optics and modern physics.

Knowledge of major active learning methods for teaching physics and knowledge of major fields and methods of physics education research. Knowledge of how to work with students that require special needs.


Ability to design and perform didactic experiments for teaching topics listed above.
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
Understanding of concepts from optics and modern physics 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.
Knowledge of major active learning approaches and ability to apply suitable approach in practice. Knowledge of major research methods in physics education.

Design of unit plan and lesson plan for teaching the topics on optics and modern physics.

Awareness of typical difficulties and caveats in teaching and learning topics on optics and modern physics.

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

Work in groups, 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 and lesson in the high-school.
grading: 5 (fail), 6-10 (pass) (according to the Statute of UL)

Lecturer's references

prof. dr. Gprazd 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]