"Naïve beliefs about the physical world" is the most thoroughly investigated subject in physics education research, leading to the following firm conclusions: (1) The beliefs of beginning students are generally incompatible with physics theory. (2) These beliefs are changed only slightly by a year of traditional physics instruction. (3) This conclusion is independent of the instructor and his mode of instruction, except that (4) better results can be achieved by instruction carefully designed to address the problem. The implications of these results for science education could hardly be more serious. However, there is a similar but more fundamental problem with broader educational implications: Teachers as well as students have naive beliefs about knowing and learning that interfere with the development of intellectual skills. This problem has not been addressed in most science curricula, teaching practices and educational policy.
Our General Interest Seminars are an opportunity for distinguished speakers to present new research in physics and related areas. The material presented is suitable for undergraduate level upwards and all members of the School are welcome to attend..