Recasting particle physics by entangling physics, history and philosophy

Bertozzi, Eugenio and Levrini, Olivia (2015) Recasting particle physics by entangling physics, history and philosophy. Il nuovo cimento C, 38 (3). pp. 1-8. ISSN 1826-9885

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The paper presents the design process we followed to recast particle physics so as to make it conceptually relevant for secondary school students. In this design process, the concept of symmetry was assumed as core-idea because of its structural and foundational role in particle physics, its crosscutting character and its epistemological and philosophical value. The first draft of the materials was tested in a pilot-study which involved 19 students of a regular class (grade 13) of an Italian school. The data analysis showed that the students were in their “regime of competence” for grasping subtle nuances of the materials and for providing important hints for revising them. In particular, students’ reactions brought into light the need of clarifying the “foundational” character that symmetry attained in twentieth-century physics. The delicate step of re-thinking the materials required the researchers to articulate the complex relationship between researches on physics teaching, history and philosophy of physics. This analytic phase resulted in a version of the materials which implies the students to be guided to grasp the meaning of symmetry as normative principle in twentieth-century physics, throughout the exploration of the different meanings assumed by symmetry over time. The whole process led also to the production of an essential, on-line version, of the materials targeted to a wider audience.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: 500 Scienze naturali e Matematica > 530 Fisica
Depositing User: Marina Spanti
Date Deposited: 28 May 2020 16:19
Last Modified: 28 May 2020 16:19

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