Perceptions of Physics

Year: 2008

Author: Evans, Paul, Tuovinen, Juhani

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

How do students actually perceive Physics and Physics-related careers? How does this perception develop? As a Physics teacher these are intriguing questions that established a motivation and curiosity to research how students and the wider community perceive Physics. The increasing urgency with which governments, industry and academia both nationally and internationally are pressing for a greater number of Physics students and graduates further fuelled the desire to research this issues and contribute to the discussion.

The research project has three aims and stages:
1. establish what is the current status of student and teacher perceptions of Physics and Physics-related careers
2. evaluate the methods that promote a positive image of Physics and Physics-related careers within the school community.
3. create sustainable strategies for informing the community of the nature of Physics and the opportunities within Physics-related careers

The focus of the study is on state and independent schools from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The cohort consists of all Year 11 students, those that have and those that have not selected Physics.