Biographical sketches

 Return to Table of Contents
These brief biographical sketches are arranged in alphabetical order.

Jorge Barojas

Jorge Barojas received his Ph.D. in molecular physics at the Universite de Paris in 1970, and has contributed to research in this field and in statistical mechanics. He has taught at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and at the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa. Author of textbooks and articles in physics and physics education, he has also produced literary works (stories and essays). Barojas has been editor of the "Contactos" journal, principal organizer of the International Conference on "Cooperative Networks in Physics Education" in Oaxtepec in 1987, and editor of the proceedings of that conference. He has also been a member and served as Secretary of the International Commission on Physics Education of IUPAP, and has held a Senior Education Fellowship at the American Institute of Physics. In Mexico, his native country, he has served as Director of Education at the National Commission on Energy Efficiency and as consultant for the "Colegio de Ciencias y Humanidades" high school system and for the "UNIVERSUM" museum of Science.


Paul J. Black
Preface,  E2 Evaluation and assessmentComments on E1

Paul J. Black started his career as a physicist with research interests in crystallography using X-ray and gamma-ray scattering. After six years at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, he spent twenty years in the Physics Department at the University of Birmingham (England). His interests gradually shifted to science education and in 1976 he came to London to be director of the Centre for Science Education at Chelsea College, which merged with King's College London in 1985. He retired in 1995 and is now Professor Emeritus in Science Education at King's. His interests in development and research have been focused mainly in curriculum development and in policy and practice for assessment and testing. He is currently (1998) the chair of the International Commission on Physics Education.

Anna Maria Pessoa de Carvalho
Section D IntroductionD4 Analysis of training programs

Anna Maria Pessoa de Carvalho is Professor of Physics Education at the University of Sao Paulo. After graduating in Nuclear Physics she obtained her Doctorate in Science Education. She teaches pre-service and in-service courses for Physics teachers, and has been involved in physics curriculum development for primary school. Her research interests have been focused mainly on Physics Teacher Education and on curriculum development. She is the Brasilian representative at the Inter-American Council for Conferences on Physics Education and is currently (1998) Secretary of the International Commission on Physics Education.


Jacques Désautels
D3 About the epistomological posture of science teachers

Jacques Désautels is a tenured professor in the Faculty of Education of the University of Laval, and a member of the research staff at CIRADE, the Interdisciplinary Center for Research on Learning and Development in Education at the University of Québec, Montréal. He is concerned with the didactic and ideological aspects of science teaching. He is the author or co-author of many publications on the subject, among which is the book written in collaboration with Marie Larochelle "Qu'est-ce que le savoir scientifique? Points de vue d'adolescents et d'adolescentes" (Presses de l'Université Laval, 1989). Recently he has co-authored a chapter on student epistemology for the International Handbook of Science Education, edited by B. J. Fraser and K. Tobin (Kluwer, 1998).

Rosalind H. Driver (1941-1997).
C5 Teaching for conceptual change: a review of strategies

Rosalind H. Driver was educated at Nottingham High School for Girls and the University of Manchester. She taught for several years before going to the University of Illinois where she received her Ph.D in 1973 on the representation of conceptual frameworks in young adolescent science students. In 1974 she was appointed as a Lecturer in Physics and Science Education at the University of Leeds, as the senior research fellow (1977) and as Deputy Director (1979-82) of the Assessment of Performance in Science Unit (APU). She was Director of the Children's Learning In Science Project (1982 - 1989) and the Children's Learning In Science Research Group (1990 - 1995). Among her publications: The Pupil as Scientist? (1983, Open University Press), Children's Ideas in Science (with Andree Tiberghien and Edith Guesne) (1985, Open University Press), and joint author of Constructing Scientific Knowledge in the Classroom (Educational Researcher, 1994) and Young People's Images of Science (Open University Press, 1996). In 1986 she was appointed to a Readership, and in 1989 appointed as Professor of Science Education at Leeds. In 1995, she became Professor of Science Education at King's College London. She was instrumental in working with science educators in Europe to establish the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA). In 1997 she received the award of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) in Chicago for Distinguished Service to Research in Science Education.

Reinders Duit
C2 Learning and understanding key concepts of electricity

Reinders Duit is Professor of Physics Education and a member of the Physics Education Group at the Institute for Science Education (IPN) at the University of Kiel, Germany. He earned his Ph.D. in 1972 investigating long-term changes of students' knowledge structures in the domain of heat phenomena. His main research interest has been difficulties in learning basic science concepts and incorporating constructivist ideas into mainstream secondary school classrooms. His research includes studies on students' learning processes in the domains of electricity, energy, entropy, heat, and, more recently, non-linear dynamics (i.e. chaotic systems, fractals and self-organizing systems).

Marcos F. Elia
D2 Physics teacher's attitudes

Marcos F. Elia, Associate Professor at the University of Rio de Janeiro, graduated from the University of Brasilia, Brasil and his first interests in physics were in the field of Solid State Physics (ESR), during his graduate studies at the Brazilian Center for Physics. Becoming a teacher at the university he gradually got involved with science education, collaborating to create a new laboratory model for the basic physics courses, and produced his doctoral work - at Chelsea College, University of London - on "Evaluation of objectives, assessment and student performance in a University Physics laboratory course". He has been doing development and research in Information Technology in Physics Education, having produced a series of courseware materials, using a constructivist approach, for the secondary level. This work was followed by a systematic research of the effect on learning physics in the school. His main research interests nowadays lie on the effective use of information technologies in education, evaluation and assessment. He is currently involved in the development of a modern undergraduate physics laboratory for a new course of Applied Textile Engineering .

Anthony P. French
B1 The Nature of Physics

Anthony P. French received his bachelor's degree (1942) and his Ph.D. (1948) from Cambridge University. He was on the faculty of Cambridge University from 1948 to 1955, teaching undergraduates and doing research in nuclear physics. From 1955 to 1962 he was at the University of South Carolina. Since 1962 he has been at MIT, working chiefly on undergraduate physics curriculum development. He has published 6 textbooks (4 of them in the MIT Introductory Physics Series). From 1975 to 1981 he served as Chairman of the International Commission on Physics Education, and in 1985-1986 he was President of the American Association of Physics Teachers. He received the Bragg Medal of the Institute of Physics in 1988 and the Oersted Medal and the Phillips Medal from the American Association of Physics Teachers in 1989 and 1993 respectively. He is interested in the history of physics and has edited a centenary volume (1979) about Albert Einstein and co-edited (with Peter Kennedy) another centenary volume (1985) about Niels Bohr. He retired from MIT in 1991 and now holds the rank of Professor Emeritus.

Daniel Gil Perez
D4 Analysis of training programs

Daniel Gil Perez is Professor of Science Education at the University of Valencia (Spain). Our group is interested in overcoming the conceptual reductionism of many researches. We are doing researches on: conceptual learning, practical works, paper and pencil problem-solving, STS interactions, Attitudes towards science and science learning, assessment... We intend to contribute to the displacement of the reception learning paradigm by a model of science learning as an orientated research, it is to say, as a treatment of problematic situations that pupils can identify as worth thinking about. We are also interested in the displacement of the usual teachers' "spontaneous" conceptions (and behaviour and attitudes) about science teaching and learning by a more correct and founded view.

Richard Gunstone
D1 Teacher's attitudes about physics classroom practice

Richard Gunstone is Professor of Science and Technology Education at Monash University. He has undertaken extensive research on learning, teaching and assessment in physics, with particular interests in metacognition and the learning of physics with understanding. Most of this research has been in high school contexts, with some at undergraduate level. Before joining Monash he taught high school physics, science and mathematics for 12 years.


E. Leonard Jossem

E. Leonard Jossem received his Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University in 1950. Joining the faculty of the Department of Physics in The Ohio State University he continued his research in experimental condensed matter physics and was responsible for building the advanced undergraduate physics laboratories in the department. He served as Chairman of the department (1967-80), and became Professor Emeritus in 1989. His activities in physics education include service as Staff Physicist and Executive Secretary of the Commission on College Physics (1963-1965), and as Chairman of the Commission (1966-71). He has served as a member of : the Board of Directors of the Michigan-Ohio Regional Educational Laboratory (1967-69); the U.S. National Advisory Committee on Educations Professions Development (1967-70); the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1967-70); and the Physics Survey Committee of the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council (1967-1970). He is a past president of the American Association of Physics Teachers, and continues to serve on several of its committees. The AAPT has awarded him its Oersted Medal and its Phillips Medal. He has served also with the International Commission on Physics Education of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics both as its Secretary and as its Chairman (1981-1993), and was awarded the Medal of the Commission in 1995. He has been a member of the Committee on the Teaching of Science of the International Council of Scientific Unions, and of the UNESCO-Physics Action Council working Group on University Physics Education.

Martin H. Krieger
B2 The physicist's toolkit
Martin H. Krieger is a professor of planning in the School of Urban Planning and Development at the University of Southern California. His Ph.D. is in Physics (Columbia,1969), and he has taught at Berkeley, Minnesota, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Michigan. He has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and at the National Humanities Center, and has held grants from Exxon Education Foundation, Lilly Endowment, and Russell Sage Foundation. His books include Advice and Planning (Temple, 1981), Marginalism and Discontinuity (Russell Sage Foundation, 1989), Doing Physics: How Physicists Take Hold of the World (Indiana, 1992), Entrepreneurial Vocations: Learning from the Callings of Augustine, Moses, Mothers, Oedipus, Antigone, and Prospero (Scholars Press, 1996), and The Constitutions of Matter: Mathematically Modeling the Most Everyday of Physical Phenomena (Chicago, 1996).

 Marie Larochelle
D3 About the epistomological posture of science teachers

Marie Larochelle is a tenure professor in the Faculty of Education of the University of Laval, and a member of the research staff at CIRADE, the Interdisciplinary Center for Research on Training and Development in Education at the University of Québec, Montréal. She is interested in epistemological problems related to learning of scientific knowledge. She is the author or co-author of many publications on the subject, among which is the book written in collaboration with Jacques Désautels "Autour de l'idée de science. Itinéraires cognitifs d'étudiants et d'étudiantes" (Presses de l'Université Laval & de Boeck-Wesmaël, 1992). She has also coedited the book "Constructivism and Education" published by the Cambridge University Press (1998).

Piet Lijnse
E1 Curriculum Development In Physics Education,  Comments on E2

Piet Lijnse is professor of Physics Education at Utrecht University. After having done a Ph.D in molecular physics in 1973, he became a member of the physics education group at Utrecht University, which is now a part of the Utrecht Centre for Science and Mathematics Education. He was involved in several curriculum development projects, among which the PLON-project. Gradually his interest has shifted towards research in physics education, with particular emphasis on how such research may improve teaching practice.

Lillian C. McDermott
C1 Student's conceptions and problem solving in mechanics,  Comments on C2

Lillian C. McDermott is a Professor of Physics and director of the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington. She did her undergraduate work at Vassar College and received her Ph.D. in experimental nuclear physics from Columbia University in 1959. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has been a Councilor of the American Physical Society and a member of the APS Executive Board. In 1981, Dr. McDermott was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Citation of the American Association of Physics Teachers. In 1990, the AAPT recognized her contributions to physics education research with the Robert A. Millikan Lecture Award. Under Prof. McDermott's supervision, the Physics Education Group has for many years been engaged in research on the learning and teaching of physics and in applying the results to the design of curriculum. Graduate students in the group may earn the Ph.D. in physics by doing research in physics education. In addition to the instruction of mainstream physics students, the Physics Education Group conducts special programs for the preparation of prospective and practicing teachers of physics and physical science. The curriculum used in these courses, Physics by Inquiry (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.), was especially developed for this purpose by Prof. McDermott and her group. A similar project, Tutorials in Introductory Physics, is under way for the introductory calculus-based physics series, and a preliminary edition of this curriculum was recently published by Prentice Hall.


Martine Méheut
E3 Designing learning sequences about pre-quantitative particle modelsComments on E4

Martine Méheut taught physics and chemistry in secondary schools from 1974 to 1990; she did a Ph.D. in physics education (1982). For 1990, she is lecturer at the Teacher Training Institute of Creteil (France). She teaches Thermodynamics and is responsible of vocational dissertations. Her main research interests are the common sense conceptions and the design of teaching-learning situations about physical and chemical transformations of matter and the particle models."

Robin Millar
C4 Student's understanding of the procedures of scientific inquiry,   Comments on C3

Robin Millar is Professor of Science Education at the University of York. After graduating in theoretical physics from the University of Cambridge, he moved to Edinburgh to do a Ph.D. in medical physics, before training as a teacher. He then taught physics and general science for eight years in secondary schools in the Edinburgh area, before moving to the University of York in 1982. He teaches on pre-service and in-service courses for science teachers, and has been involved in several major science curriculum development projects, including the Salters' Science project for which he was a member of the management and writing teams. His research interests include pupils' learning in science, the role of practical work in science education, and the public understanding of science.

Christoph von Rhöneck
C2 Learning and understanding key concepts of electricity

Christoph von Rhöneck born 1940, Ph. D. in theoretical physics (1969), since 1971 professor for physics and didactics of physics at the college of education (Paedagogische Hochschule) in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Research interests: students' alternative frameworks and psychological aspects of learning


Susana de Souza Barros
D2 Physics teacher's attitudes

Susana de Souza Barros is Associate Professor of Physics at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. She graduated in Physics and Mathematics at the University of Buenos Aires. She did research in Cosmic Radiation at the High Altitude Laboratory of Chacaltaya, and high energy physics during her postgraduate studies at Manchester University. During a long period living in the United States, she moved to the study of magnetic properties of paramagnetic crystals at low temperature and started her long and lasting interest with physics education, getting involved with minority students in pre-university programs. Back in Brasil she developed several programs to work with the difficulties students entering the university have in learning physics, a task that took her to research on the role of the laboratory and problem solving approaches. She became involved in the pre-service education of physics teachers, curricular development and in- service courses for high school physics teachers. Her current interests are primarily in how to teach physics (science) for primary teachers and how to develop scientific literacy for the educated citizen, via formal and informal education. The role of the laboratory at high school level is also a primary concern, trying to understand how new technologies can contribute in reaching this objective and also the function of demonstrations and low cost equipment.

 Roger Stuewer
B3 History and Physics

Roger Stuewer is professor of the history of science and technology in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota. He received his Ph.D. in the history of science and physics from the University of Wisconsin in 1968. He has published numerous articles and has written, edited, or co-edited seven books, including The Compton Effect: Turning Point in Physics (1975), Nuclear Physics in Retrospect (1979), and The Michelson Era in American Science (1988). His current area of research is on the history of nuclear physics between the first and second world wars, with particular reference to the various nuclear models that were proposed during that period. He helped organize the APS Forum (then Division) on the History of Physics. His other professional activities have included serving as Secretary of the History of Science Society (1972-78), Member and Chair of the Advisory Committee on the History of Physics of the AIP (1978-93), Co-Chair of an international Commission on the History of Modern Physics (1993-present), Chair of the History and Philosophy of Science Section of the AAAS (1993-94),
Andrée Tiberghien

Andrée Tiberghien is Director of Research in the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS). She obtained her Ph.D. in condensed matter physics from the University of Paris 6 in 1972. She is currently Head of the COAST Research group (COmmunication et Apprentissage des Savoirs Scientifiques et Techniques) of the GRIC laboratory; Member of the "Scientific Committee" of the National Institute of Pedagogical Research (INRP), and chair of the Scientific and Pedagogical committee of the University Institute of Teachers Training (IUFM). She is in charge of the physics science option of the "Formation Doctorale : Didactiques des Disciplines Scientifiques" (Université Lyon 1 et Grenoble 1) ". She has been a Member and Vice-Chair of the International Commission of Physics Education (ICPE) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP). Her research is focused on the relations between the students' evolution of knowledge during learning in the physics domain and the conditions of learning and, more specifically, the content and the way in which the taught knowledge is introduced. Her approach requires taking into account the meaning of the concepts involved.

Laurence Viennot
Section C Introduction,  Comments on C1,  C3 Experimental facts and ways of reasoning in thermodynamics: learners' common approach
Laurence Viennot  after five years of research in astrophysics, moved to didactics of physics in 1971. Now a professor at University Denis Diderot (Paris 7), she teaches "pure" physics and didactics of physics. Here research is more specifically focused on students' and teachers' reasoning in physics. She is responsible for the "Laboratoire de Didactique de la Physique dans l'Enseignement Supérieur" in Paris, and as been for five years (1990-1995) a member of the French National Curriculum Council.

Richard White
Section D Introduction,  D1 Teacher's attitudes about physics classroom practice,   Comments on D2,D3,D4
Richard White is professor of Psychology in Education and Dean of the Faculty of Education at Monash University. His many journal articles and his books - especially Learning Science, The Content of Science (with Peter Fensham and Richard Gunstone) and Probing Understanding (with Richard Gunstone) - address how teaching and assessment can be arranged to foster understanding. Sailing, cycling, painting, reading, computer games and growing Australian plants keep his mind fresh for work.
 Return to Table of Contents