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Problem-Based Approaches to Physics

Changing perspectives in higher education
Professor Derek Jeffrey Raine


The role of university is changing under the pressure of external, largely economic and cultural forces. The call to increase recruitment of students to STEM subjects is predicated on their strategic importance for the economy. However, the notion of university physics as a purely vocational training is attractive neither to students nor to their teachers, and is contrary to the ethos of the discipline.

This book argues that problem-based approaches to learning offers the prospect of widening the appeal of physics to potential students and employers, while maintaining its intellectual rigour and providing increased support for employability. The text brings together innovations in university teaching based on learning theories, research and the author's experience, to present problem-based pedagogies for physics and, by implication, other disciplines. It looks at the practicalities of various implementations of problem-based approaches, developed from the original form of PBL, and at the costs and benefits as well as some of the potential pitfalls. It is valuable reading for curriculum designers of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and academics working in the field of physics education.

About Editors

Derek Jeffrey Raine is an emeritus professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester. He has led several major projects developing problem-based approaches in physics and founded the natural sciences programme at the University of Leicester. He was awarded the Lawrence Bragg Medal by the Institute of Physics for his work on curriculum development through problem-based learning, and an MBE for services to science education. He is a National Teaching Fellow and a Principal Fellow of Advance HE. In 2017 the natural sciences teaching team at Leicester won a CATE award from the Higher Education Academy for their work on embedding employability. He chaired the IOP Higher Education Advisory Committee and is a co-chair of the Society for Natural Sciences, which he helped to set up.

Table of Contents


Hardback ISBN: 9780750322225

Ebook ISBN: 9780750322249

DOI: 10.1088/2053-2563/ab3803

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing

Series: IOP Series in Physics Education


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