Great attention is given to the directives and plans of the controlling bodies in the university and of national education programs. There is growing emphasis on explaining the world and roles of physics in our society to schools and sixth form colleges to ensure good student orientation prior to application for admission.
The degree program in adult education has become considerably more extended in 1996.
In the summer of 1996 a broad supplementary-education programme (DFCL) belonging to the national development effort "Finnish mathematical and natural science awareness 2002" was started. It is planned and realized by the research group of Didactical Physics and financed by the National Board of Education.
DFCL is a consistent whole (30 ECTS credits) of four tightly connected courses, Foundations of Didactical Physics, Conceptual and Processual Structures of School Physics, Perceptional Experimentality (Laboratory-course, planning of conceptually motivated experimental wholes for school physics) and History of Physics based on 16 yearsÕ systematic search and development of new relevant methods and contents for physics teacher education.
The arrangements include three ten-days common intense-periods in summer time, three week-end meetings for about 40 participants at a time. The main part of the programme is, however, carried in groups of two or three in the school sites of the participants, distance-guided through both electronic and traditional communication methods. Common discussions are run within an e-mail list and in regular IRC (International Relay Chat) sessions. More detailed information can be found in the address . The project is bound to be fulfilled by the end of 1997.
This is the first complementary-education programme in didactical physics ever realized in Finland and also unique in its extension with over 150 participants from all over Finland. There are five lecturers, two of whom are full-time. In addition to this there are seven assistants guiding exercise groups and a half-time secretary.
During several decades the Department has arranged a week's supplementary education fulfilling the requirements of the employment criteria for teachers at lower and upper secondary schools. This is noteworthy even nationwide. During the last few years a large number of teachers from the present colleges of advanced education have participated in these courses. Mainly teachers from the Physics Department have been the educators. The popularity of the course shows that such education is needed and the procedure will be continued with a yearly changing topic. In 1996 Particle physics was the theme of the course and it was attended by 63 teachers from lower and upper secondary schools, institutes of technology and polytechnics.