Minutes of 1999 ICPE Meeting

Held at Guilin, China, August 17th and 18th, 1999.

Participant Members: P. Black, A. M. P. Carvalho, U. Ganiel, E. Lillethun, E. Redish, T. Ryu, J. Sahm, M. G. Sere, and V. Talisayon.

By Invitation: L. Jossem, K. Zhao, and on the second day S. Pak

Apologies for absence were received from: M. Kesselberg, S. Krotov, P. Lijnse, N. Mukunda and J. Seretlo.

1 Introduction

1.1. The ICPE chairman welcomed the members and visitors.

1.2. The Minutes of 1998 ICPE Meeting were approved.

1.3. The Agenda of 1999 ICPE Meeting was approved

2. Reports on Conferences

2.1. Hands on Experiments and Toys in Physics Education, Duisburg, Germany, August, 23-28, 1998.

P. Black reported on this conference and informed the meeting that the Proceedings --book and CD Rom -- have already been distributed.

2.2. New Technologies in Physics Education, Hefei, China, October 19-22, 1998.

K. Zhao reported on this conference and informed the meeting that the Proceedings have already been distributed.

2.3. '99 International Physics Conference - Teachers & Educators, Guilin, China, August 19-23, 1999.

P. Black reported on the preparations for this conference.

3 Future Conferences

3.1. International GIREP Conference - Physics Teacher Education Beyond 2000. Barcelona, Spain, August 27th September 1st , 2000.

It had previously been decided that this conference would be recommended to the IUPAP for ICPE sponsorship in the 1998 meeting. (The IUPAP Council approved the sponsorship of this conference at its meeting on Oct. 2, 1999.)

3.2. 7th Inter-American Conference on Physics Education, (title to be determined) Gramado, Brazil July 3-7, 2000.

It was decided that this conference would be recommended to the IUPAP for ICPE sponsorship.(The IUPAP Council approved the sponsorship of this conference at its meeting on Oct. 2, 1999.)

3.3. II Ibero-American Workshop on Physics Teaching at Universities - Havana, Cuba, January 24-28, 2000.

It was decided that this conference would be recommended to the IUPAP for ICPE sponsorship. The organizing committee has already been asked to change the name of the conference, since the IUPAP does not sponsor workshops. It was also suggested that the organizing committee should make contact with the Inter-American Council on Physics Education so that its president could be invited to take part in the conference. (The IUPAP Council did not approve the sponsorship. IUPAP wants international conference series changing the conference site between countries.)

3.4. 2nd Japan - China Symposium on University, Tokyo, Japan, August 22-24, 2000.

There was no request to sponsor this meeting. It was not eligible because the IUPAP ruling is that conferences that it sponsors should be open to participants from all countries.

3.5. Computer and Information Technology in Physics Education, Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development, Manila, Philippine, December 4-6, 2001.

It was decided that this meeting could be put forward for consideration for sponsorship at next year's commission meeting. (Early approval for sponsorship by the IUPAP Council was given on Oct. 2, 1999.)

4. Publications

4.1. Connecting Research in Physics Education with Teacher Education

L. Jossem states that he had distributed more than 1500 copies of the book, Connecting Research in Physics Education with Teacher Education, on discs, and there has been a very large number of visitors from all over the world to the WEB site -- -- where the text is available for free down-load.

Jossem reported that UNESCO has provided the budget required for tranlation of the book into other languages than English and that J. Barojas was in charge of the translation into Spansih, but has been unable to complete it because of personal problems. M. G. Sére reported that A. Tiberghien has been working hard on the French translation and there are just a few problems left to be solved with some of the authors. T. Ryu described the work on the Japanese translation of the book. The Japanese teachers who were helping with this task encountered many difficulties, so the Japanese translation will take longer to complete than was anticipated.

4.2. ICPE Newsletter

E. Redish distributed the International Newsletter n. 37, October 1998, and a copy of Physics Education Research - American Journal of Physics, Supplement 1 to vol. 67, n. 7, Jul 1999. (He is the editor of this new research supplement to the AJP.)

P. Black emphasised the importance of the Newsletter in disseminating the work of the Commission, both to educators and to other physicists through IUPAP. He reminded the Commission that IUPAP gives an annual grant to assist the publication of the Newsletter.

E. Redish stated that he would not be able to continue as editor of the Newsletter, in part because he would be taking on the post of secretary to the Commission. Vivian Talisayon agreed to take over this task and was enthusiastically assigned the editorship. (She has already prepared issue n. 38 of the Newsletter which should be distributed in the last quarter of 1999.)

4.3. ICPE Web page

E. Redish stressed the necessity of up-to dating the Web page - he hoped to do this in September.

L. Jossem explained the preliminary conversations that had taken place with both the American Physical Society and the American Institute of Physics about the possibility of one of these organizations taking over responsibility for the technical handling of the web-site, so that the C14 editor would only have to send them the material to be put on its pages. Both organizations were willing to give the help required. Jossem and Redish agreed to make further enquiries and arrive at a final decision on behalf of the commission.

4.4. Ideas For Future Publications (this item is linked to item 5)

Three main ideas were discussed :

  1. To adapt the publication of "Physics at the Millennium" now being prepared by P. Black to the high school teachers, with view to a translation of the main concepts which could be observed in the book in simple terms. (see item 5.6. below)
  2. To settle links in the ICPE Web with other resources (see items 5.1., 5.2., 5.5. below.)
  3. To consider the planning of a new physics education curriculum which can include the ideas of the "Physics at the Millennium"

5. Activities of the Commission: Reports of Workgroup and Projects.

5.1. Group A: Collection of Resource (A. M. Carvalho, E. Redish, M. G. Sére, V. Talisayon).

This group has been working on constructing a web resource for teachers by selecting articles from the proceedings of ICPE conferences. During the past year, the working group members in Brazil, France, and the Philippines used the proceedings of the Ljubljana and Udine conferences with their classes of pre-service teachers. The students reviewed the materials and selected those articles they found most interesting and relevant. The group reviewed the teacher's selections and found that they tended to fall into three categories:

From the list of teacher-selected articles, the group chose nine that had a strong international interest, 5 from Ljubljana, 4 from Udine. During the coming year, the group will continue its efforts. Permission will be sought from the conference organizers and authors to put the selected materials on the ICPE web-site, using electronic versions already available. (Redish)

The working group members with access to classes of teachers (Carvalho, Séré, Talisayon) will repeat the selection process using the Duisburg proceedings. At next year's meeting of the new ICPE, the continuing group of members will propose the continuation of work of this type.

5.2.- Group B: Help to Developing Countries. (T. Ryu, K. Zhao, S. Pak and E. Lillethun).

The group has the following suggestions of contents after discussing the ICPE Newsletter as a carrier of relevant information to developing countries:

  1. References to published information in Journals, Home-pages, Books, Conferences and Proceedings.
  2. Informative articles, drawing on work in IUPAP and ICPE, on :
    - relationships between Physics Research and Physics Education Research
    - the physics component in primary science programmes.
  3. Newly-written or selected articles about recent world tendencies in physics education, and/or the status, issues and challenges of physics education in selected countries.
  4. Each year a presentation of a couple of problems from the last Physics Olympiad including comments for solution on the methods used by the participants.

More ideas would be produced. However, running such a Newsletter may require the recruitment of "assistants" to the editor. These persons would have good contacts in particular countries so that they could keep the Newsletter's main editor informed about articles to be presented about their country situation.

The above suggestions should form the base for further discussions within ICPE.

E. Lillethun agreed to be responsible for a new search for contacts in developing countries interested in physics education information. These contacts should be able to download the Newsletter and distribute copies within their country, and they could also be asked to suggest other subjects which might be included.

5.3. Group C: Identification of Topics for Study in Conferences or in New Publication. (U. Ganiel, L. Jossem, S. Krotov, J. Sahm)

The group discussed which topics would be appropriate for future conferences to be sponsored by the ICPE, and/or books or readers to be prepared in the future. Many were discussed, but the group finally decided on the following list of topics, arranged in order of priority as follows:

1. Teachers, with a focus on the following issues:

2. "Science Literacy for All - particularly Physics".

3. "Physics in Context"

4. Physics and other disciplines [Book, Conference]


5.4. Project D - Posters (L. Jossem)

A number (11) of posters have been selected and they have been put on the web site of the American Physical Society (APS) - for which the web address is Japan has translated and distributed copies of the Nobel Prize Posters collection.

5.5. Project E - Books on Web (P. Black)

The idea, which had been presented last year has been developed in collaboration with a USA project, project NOVA, based at the University of Alabama. The aim is to put 4 books on teaching methods in undergraduate physics education on the Web. They will total about 1000 pages in all. P. Black distributed a disc version of one of the books - Individual Study in Undergraduate Science - Higher Education Learning Project. The work of scanning in the text of the books is already complete.

5.6. Project F - Folder: Physics at the Millennium (P. Black)

The IUPAP Council has approved a proposal to collect short articles (about 2000 words each) from the chairs of each of IUPAP's commissions, and would publish the collection under the title Physics 2000 - Physics as it enters the new Millennium. P. Black has been collecting the material, and two other editors - Len Jossem and Gordon Drake - are helping him. The Commission asked that when the booklet is published, it should also be made available on the web.

6. IUPAP Business

6.1. 1999 election results at the IUPAP general assembly (held in Atlanta, USA in March).

P. Black explained the electoral process and the members of the next commission, which will be starting in September, are the following (1999-2002):

The three current associate members continue their term for another year. New associate members will serve beginning with the ICPE meeting in 2001. The next commission will be asked to submit nominations for new assoicate members to the IUPAP council, who will make the final decision.

P. Black distributed copies, taken from the IUPAP Triennial Report on its commissions, of a report on C.14 - Commission on Physics Education which he had prepared.

6.2. IUPAP Council and General Assembly.

P. Black related the main points which had been discussed in the meetings of IUPAP Council/Council with the Commission chairs meetings, and in the 23rd General Assembly, all held in Atlanta in March, 1999.


P. Black reported on the problems that arisen due to the lack of support by ICSU (the International Council for Scientific Unions - now called the International Council for Science) for liaison between the educational groups within its member commissions. Discussions led to the presentation of a proposal for the establishment and support of an "Inter-Union Science Education Liaison Committee". This proposal was led by Black and supported by education groups of the other science unions: IUPAC (chemistry); IAU (astronomy); IUGS (geological sciences); IUPAB (biochemistry); IUBS (biological sciences); IMU(mathematics) and IUTAM (applied mathematics). A copy of the proposal was distributed to the members of the Commission.

J. Sahm proposed support from ICPE for the work developed by P. Black and for the terms of the proposal. This was approved unanimously.

8. Relationships with other organizations and networks.


The agencies of UNESCO in Asia and South America are accustomed to giving financial support to some events in these regions. In earlier times, UNESCO used to finance the publications of the proceedings of conferences sponsored by ICPE, but it is no longer giving such support.

8.2. GIREP

This group holds a conference in Europe every two years.

8.3.- Inter-American Council on Physics Education

This group holds a conference every three years.

8.4. IUPAP-C-13.

There has been little contact with activities of C13 - the IUPAP Commission for Development. However, these contacts need to be revived; given that education is one of the important factors in the development of Physics, there ought to be active liaison between C13 and C14.

8.5. ASPEN

V. Talisayon suggested that C14 ought to promote a closer contact with ASPEN, just as it has done with GIREP.

9. ICPE medal

P. Black had not received any nomination for the ICPE medal. A new design for the medal will be explored and proposed to the new commission.

10. Future Activities and Transition to the New Commission

P. Black described the articulation of the work carried out in the commission. L. Jossem reminded members of the value of the documents which focus on the history of the ICPE.

11. Closing the meeting.

P. Black thanked the members for the work they have been developing through the past three years. J. Sahm congratulated P. Black on his work as a leader of the commission.

minutes prepared by

Anna Maria de Carvalho
Universidade de Sao Paulo


web page prepared by

E. F. Redish

Last corrected November 22, 1999.