The Conference of the International Research Group on Physics Teaching [GIREP] and the European Physical Society – Physics Education Division [EPS PED] was held on 6-10 June 2015. The GIREP-EPEC meeting, recognised as an EPS Europhysics Conference, was organised by University of Wrocław [UWr] (Institute of Experimental Physics, Physics Teaching Department and Foundation for University of Wrocław) at the time of the Jubilee of the 70th Anniversary of the Polish Academic Community in Wrocław. It belongs to a series of GIREP conferences . The conference was organised by Ewa Dębowska (Chair of the Organizing Committee) and Tomasz Greczyło (Chair of the Local Organizing Committee), both from Institute of Experimental Physics of University of Wrocław in cooperation with an international advisory board. The event was sponsored financially by GIREP, EPS – Physics Education Division, University of Wrocław and Polish Physical Society. The address of the web site is http://girep2015.ifd.uni.wroc.pl/.
The main theme of the conference was Key Competences [KC] in Physics Teaching and Learning in the shape of knowledge, skills and attitudes that are fundamental for every individual in a society. The essence of KCs is that they should be acquired by young people by the end of their compulsory education and training. The Key Competences are all inter-dependent and intertwine different aspects such as critical thinking, creativity, initiative, problem solving, risk assessment, decision taking and constructive management of feelings. All of them are crucial in current educational environments. The perfect media to support the process of teaching and learning seem to be the Information and Communication Technology [ICT]. The impact of ICT in educational processes is especially visible in physics teaching and learning. Physics is considered to be a subject whose main interest is directly and strongly connected not only to digital competence but also to several other Key Competences. The conference offered the opportunities for in-depth discussions on the Key Competences issues such as: new research approaches; new methods, innovative learning strategies, new models. good practices in developing KC etc. During the meeting, the problem of looking for strategies and tools to improve physics teaching and learning to teach KCs and how to help students acquire them were discussed.
The conference was attended by 157 participants (65 males and 92 females) representing 36 countries. Among the participants there were 29 students and 53 members of GIREP, AAPT and EPS.
The GIREP Medal was given to Lillian McDermot, Physics Education Group, University of Washington, USA and the EPS Physics Education Division Secondary School Teacher Award 2015 went to Irena Dvorakova, from Prague (Czech Republic).
A book of Proceedings will be printed and electronically available by the end of June 2016.
Like in previous GIREP conferences, a lot of attention went into engaging teachers in taking part and establishing better networks between teachers and researchers. This time the format of a preconference in the form of 6 workshops organized in 3 parallel sessions was used. They were held in the afternoon of July 5 and in the morning of July 6 in the same venue as the GIREP EPEC 2015 conference. They were attended by 35 people. Two workshops were in Polish and four workshops for international audience were in English (Embedded Formative Assessment and Feedback for Student and Teacher Learning, The use of ARDUINO in IBL, Investigating with Concept Cartoons, Versatile ICT Learning Environment to enable context-rich and authentic Physics Education).
In 2016 the GIREP conference will be organized jointly with the 2nd WCPE in Sao Paolo in Brazil.