The conference programme will consist of plenary lectures and contributions via oral presentations, oral bytes, workshops, and (new for 2015) flipped sessions.

Conference Programme


‘Is “interactive” teaching sufficient to promote conceptual development in physics?’

 Over the past few decades, systematic research has shown that many physics students express essentially the same (incorrect) ideas both before and after instruction.  It is frequently assumed that these ideas can be identified by research and then addressed through “interactive” teaching approaches such as hands-on activities and small-group collaborative work.  In many classrooms, incorrect ideas are elicited, their inadequacy is exposed, and students are guided in reconciling their prior knowledge with the formal concepts of the discipline.  Variations of this strategy have proven fruitful in science instruction at all levels from elementary through graduate school.  However, this summary greatly over-simplifies the use of students’ ideas as the basis for effective instructional strategies.  Examining what students have actually learned after using research-based curriculum is essential for improving the curriculum and validating its effectiveness.  I will illustrate the process with examples from introductory physics.

Professor Paula Heron, Department of Physics, University of Washington

‘Ecopedagogy: Teaching Sustainability Topics in the Physical Science Curriculum’

Ecopedagogy invites us to teach about the world in a way that neither assumes that the interests of humans are privileged over other species, nor accepts that a particular group of humans has a privileged view on what should be taught. Ecopedagogy therefore is an interesting framework in which to teach sustainability topics. There is an increasing demand from students, employers and other stakeholders for topics on economic, social and environmental sustainability to be more prominent in HE curricula. In this session, we will discuss what this might mean for the Physical Sciences and, with an Ecopedagogy framework in mind, explore how participants’ own geographical roots and the environment in which they learn can inform their understanding. The session will make use of the indoors and outdoors environments of the “eco” Jubilee Campus and will be accessible to all.

 Professor Paul C Taylor, School of Chemistry, University of Leeds



The University of Nottingham
University Park

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5151