The Concept of Weight: An Education Problem Exposing Rich Epistemological Background

11.05.2016 18:15 – 20:30

The concept of weight presents a problem for teaching physics which divides between physics educators. It divides between the teachers of the East and West of Europe, it divides between physics educators in the US and Israel. This unusually strong power of division of physics teachers is caused by a capital collision in the epistemology adopted by practicing teachers of physics; their wish to follow the epistemological changes which took place in physics at the beginning of the 20th century. Is it necessary to adopt the epistemology of modern physics (in particular, its positivistic tenet to rely on the local measurement and stick to the operational definitions) already in the introductory course of science? I believe it is. I will review the problem and briefly characterize our research attempts to investigate the need and feasibility of a new teaching approach to the subject without delay to more advanced physics courses, the specific ways to teach the more advanced (epistemologically) concept of weight which include addressing a representative set of the considered physics concept and cultural content knowledge orientation of physics curriculum. These results were obtained in the theoretical and empirical studies we performed in our research group, recently published in several articles.


Bâtiment: Ecole de Physique

Auditoire Stückelberg

Organisé par

Section de physique


Igal Galili, Professeur at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

entrée libre


Catégorie: Conférence

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