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 functions and rôles of physics in our society to schools, sixth forms and colleges to ensure good student orientation prior to application for admission.
The extended degree programme in adult education has continued in 1997. The supplementary-education programme, DFCL, in Didactical Physics commenced in July 1996 was completed successfully by the end of 1997 by 145 physics teachers and formed a part of the national development effort "Finnish mathematical and natural science awareness 2002". It was 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) comprising 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 years' systematic research and development of new relevant methods and contents for physics teacher education.
According to the responses of the participants the new practices of modern processual teaching and perceptional experimentality have become everyday practice in many of their schools. Several of the study groups continue their activity as local centres of development and about 60 participants have decided to continue their studies and research in didactical physics for a higher degree. A new programme for 1998 - 1999 will be started for 100 participants.
Three supplementary-education courses, for about 20 participants each, have been arranged for primary school teachers.
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 an annually changing topic. In 1997 Electronics and Electricity was the theme of the course and it was attended by 64 teachers from lower and upper secondary schools, institutes of technology and polytechnics.