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ERIC Number: EJ858703
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0031-9120
Goals and Design of Public Physics Lectures: Perspectives of High-School Students, Physics Teachers and Lecturers
Kapon, S.; Ganiel, U.; Eylon, B.
Physics Education, v44 n5 p528-535 Sep 2009
Many large scientific projects and scientific centres incorporate some kind of outreach programme. Almost all of these outreach programmes include public scientific lectures delivered by practising scientists. In this article, we examine such lectures from the perspectives of: (i) lecturers (7) who are practising scientists acknowledged to be good public lecturers and (ii) audiences composed of high-school students (169) and high-school physics teachers (80) who attended these lectures. We identify and discuss the main goals as expressed by the lecturers and the audiences, and the correspondence between these goals. We also discuss how the lecturers' goals impact on the design of their lectures and examine how the lecture affects audiences with different attitudes towards (and interests in) physics. Our findings suggest that the goals of the participating lecturers and the expectations of their audiences were highly congruent. Both believe that a good public scientific lecture must successfully communicate state-of-the-art scientific knowledge to the public, while inspiring interest in and appreciation of science. Our findings also suggest that exemplary public scientific lectures incorporate content, structure and explanatory means that explicitly adhere to the lecturers' goals. We identify and list several design principles. (Contains 2 tables and 3 figures.)
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: Students; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A