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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Pedagogy & Research in Physics Education
Module Code PS473
School School of Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Eilish McLoughlin
Semester 2: Eilish McLoughlin
Autumn: Eilish McLoughlin
Module TeachersEilish McLoughlin
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module will focus on physics pedagogy and research for prospective teachers of Senior Cycle Physics. There will be a strong emphasis on developing innovative and inquiry-based learning approaches to teaching physics knowledge, skills, experimental and other coursework. It will introduce Physics Education Research and how it can be used to incorporate engaging ways to support teaching and learning of physics at Junior Cycle and at Senior Cycle, for example, teaching for conceptual change and understanding the nature of physics. Module participants will be introduced to the structure and content of the current and the proposed new Senior Cycle Physics curriculum and assessment. They will apply their knowledge of research-based approaches/strategies to the teaching and learning of specific physics content areas (mechanics, optics, electricity, etc.) and measure the effect of such strategies on their students’ learning. They will learn about the importance of developing both physics content knowledge and physics pedagogical content knowledge in order to be effective teachers of physics. There will be emphasis on the development of student key skills, and on incorporating literacy and numeracy, within the physics classroom. Participants will learn about classroom/workshop/laboratory organisation, and about integration of physics with other STEM subjects, in particular mathematics. They will learn how to support students to integrate the knowledge, skills, and methodologies of other STEM subjects in a cross-curricular manner, so as to be able to creatively solve real world and multidisciplinary problems. There will be emphasis on how teachers can nurture learner engagement and participation and support gender balance in physics through appropriate pedagogy, curriculum and assessment. Participants will engage in active learning methodologies, problem-solving and inquiry based learning; using questioning skills to assess understanding levels; and paying attention to language and physics teaching. They will develop teaching plans and lessons that make the connection between Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle Physics learning, using teaching strategies that cater for a variety of learners. Participants will experience as learners the use of ICT, digital technologies and digital learning resources in the physics classroom and be supported to develop strategies and resources to support their own practices for teaching remotely and online. Participants will engage in critical reflection and analysis of their own classroom practices so they can support their students to become active and reflective learners by providing a range of learning and formative assessment experiences that enhances their curiosity, inquiry, creativity and problem solving abilities.

Learning Outcomes

1. Design and develop a unit of learning with lesson plans incorporating the pedagogical strategies, learning approaches and a variety of modes of assessment to support diverse learners in their physics classroom.
2. Demonstrate their understanding of how physics teaching and learning is connected to other STEM subjects and the importance of creatively using physics knowledge and skills to creatively solve real-world problems
3. Incorporate a range of digital learning technologies and resources into their teaching of physics
4. Conduct a mini-literature review into their chosen topic in physics education research, and its importance and relevance to their classroom practice
5. Build their professional knowledge network by forming and collaborating in their Professional Learning Communities

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Workshop20Students attend 4 days of workshops in June. Here they will learn about physics education research, pedagogical strategies for physics teaching and learning, STEM integration, problem-solving in physics, using digital teaching and learning resources, catering for diversity and inclusion, and curriculum and assessment relevant to physics. They will work within their PLCs over the summer, building their professional knowledge and present a unit of learning.
Fieldwork12Student learning support facilitated through small-group tutorials with flexible provision.
Independent Study93Student self directed learning
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentPhysics Unit of Learning Students will develop a unit of learning with lesson plans incorporating the pedagogical strategies, learning approaches and a variety of modes of assessment to support diverse learners in their physics classroom. Students should make reference to literature that informs their unit design and implementation. Group presentation (three per group) on the unit of learning to be submitted via loop as recorded presentations.100%As required
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 2
Indicative Reading List

  • Akpan, B. and Kennedy, T. K. eds.: 2020, Science Education in Theory and Practice: An Introductory Guide to Learning Theory. Springer International Publishing,
  • Gonsalves, A. and Danielsson, A. Eds.: 2020, Physics Education and Gender: Identity as an Analytic Lens for Research. Springer International Publishing,
  • Leite, L, Oldham, E., Afonso, A., Viseu, F., Dourado, L., Martinho, M. H. Eds.: 2020, Science and Mathematics Education for 21st Century Citizens: Challenges and Ways Forward. Nova Science Publishers.,
Other Resources

59495, Website, 0, PER-Central, a resource collection for physics education researchers:, https://www.compadre.org/per/,
Programme or List of Programmes
PDITPProfessional Diploma in Teaching Physics

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