Paul J. Black
Centre for Educational Studies, Kings College, London, UK

The International Commission on Physics Education (ICPE) represents physics educators from many parts of the world who have a wide range of interests. As chairman, I am aware that the Commission makes demands on the time, the energy and the resources of its members. Such demands can be justified only if we can use our unique potential - for promoting international collaboration in order to support physics education across the world. This book is an example of what can be done.

For a work of this type to be produced, four conditions have to be satisfied. Three of these are:

The international conferences sponsored by the ICPE and the formal meetings of the Commission provided the occasions for the discussions out of which this book arose. They have also fostered the growth of a network of expertise which is the basis for this book's range of contributers. At the same time, the ICPE acknowledges its parent body, the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, which has supported its work both financially and through the links with the world-wide community of physicists that it provides.

For finance for this book, the Commission was fortunate in obtaining generous support from UNESCO -we are particularly grateful the Organisation for this help, and to the French mission to UNESCO for their assistance in securing this support.

However, there is a fourth condition :

This is the most important and difficult condition of the four. It has been met through the commitment of the three editors, Andrée Tiberghien, Leonard Jossem and Jorge Barojas, all of whom have also contributed in many other ways to the work of the ICPE. The main credit for this book's appearance belongs to them. I am sure that physics educators in many countries will come to be grateful, to them and to the many authors whom they have recruited, as they benefit from use of this unique and authoritative work.

As the editors make clear, whilst this book may mark the completion of one project, it should also signal the beginning of a longer term and continuing project of linking together researchers in physics education with those who train physics teachers. I hope that the ICPE, the editors and the many contributors to this book, and above all its readers will be inspired to work at this new project in the coming years.

Preface from: Connecting Research in Physics Education with Teacher Education
An I.C.P.E. Book © International Commission on Physics Education 1997,1998
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions

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