Lecturer of science education at the Faculty of Education, the University of Tampere and an adjunct professor of didactic physics at the Tampere University of TechnologyUniversity of Tampere (Finland)
Terhi Mantyla is a university lecturer of science education at the Faculty of Education, the University of Tampere and an adjunct professor of didactic physics at the Tampere University of Technology. She obtained PhD degree in physics (physics education research) from the Department of Physics, University of Helsinki in 2011. In 2011-2012, she was a post doc at the Learning in Science and Mathematics group at the Kristianstad University, Sweden. She has been involved in pre-service physics teacher education since year 2001 in the department of physics and onwards year 2014, in the faculty of education. Terhi has also experience in in-service physics teacher education and in teaching physics and physics education for pre-service elementary teachers. In her research, she has developed instruction methods, especially didactic reconstructions, for pre-service physics teacher education, which aim for better organization and understanding of physics subject matter and concept formation. Characteristic for her research is applying history and philosophy of physics to pedagogical and didactical approaches. Recently, she has focused on concept learning and conceptual change in pre-service physics teacher education within topics of DC-circuits and electromagnetic fields Mantyla’s research has been funded by Academy of Finland.
Didactic reconstructions and knowledge organization and consolidation in physics teacher education
Physics teachers have an essential role in forming the attitudes and conceptions of future citizens toward science and technology, as well as in educating the future generations of scientists. Therefore, the physics-teacher education must guarantee the best available education to pre-service physics teachers; sound knowledge of physics should be combined with a good understanding of the didactical and pedagogical aspects of teaching and learning. The situation is often that after university physics courses, the pre-service physics teachers’ knowledge is still quite fragmented and incoherent. They also often lack the concept formation perspective to physics knowledge. I discuss here a research-based instruction approach that is developed for pre-service physics teachers for consolidating and organizing their subject matter content knowledge. In the core of the approach are graphical tools called didactic reconstructions of processes (DRoP) and structure (DRoS). The idea behind the reconstructions is that ”new” physics knowledge is always constructed on the basis of previous knowledge. This leads to a network of quantities and laws, where the experiments and models construct the connections between the physics concepts. Finally, I discuss the implementation of didactic reconstructions in instruction and show that the didactical reconstructions help students to organize and consolidate their knowledge.