PIPER (Practical Implications of Physics Education Research)

PIPER is a project from the IOP Education Department devoted to promoting evidence-based practice in physics education.

By making the messages of physics education research more accessible to physics educators, PIPER seeks to encourage the use of evidence-based teaching practices and so improve the quality of physics teaching and learning across all stages of pre-19 physics education.

PIPER will make physics education research more accessible to physics educators in two ways. Firstly, by condensing the findings of the contemporary literature into a concise, digestible format, and secondly, by hosting these findings on a user-friendly digital platform. These constitute two distinct phases of the project, after which the improved accessibility that PIPER will provide will allow teachers, teacher trainers and CPD providers to engage more directly with evidence from physics education research as they refine and inform their own practices.

As part of the first phase of the project, we have begun to collate lists of ideas that children have about different topics of physics, with the support of physics education researchers from the Institute of Education, the University of York, and the University of Cambridge, as well as volunteers from the Researchers in Schools programme and TeachFirst. Education researchers based at Canterbury Christ Church University and King’s College London also analysed existing research on how to teach the topics of light and EMF respectively. The resulting monographs explore the messages which practitioners might draw from this literature:

(Please note that these documents are subject to our copyright statement.)

The second phase of the project involves considering the ways in which we can codify and disseminate these messages from the many sources which teachers access to inform their practice. As part of this phase we will be developing a ‘digital tool for PIPER’ – an online platform which can be used by physics educators to access the findings of the PIPER project, allowing them to incorporate evidence from physics education research into their own teaching practices.

If you are a teacher of physics and would be interested in taking part in a short study to help measure the impact of the PIPER project on teaching efficacy, please get in touch. We are particularly interested in hearing from teachers of physics who consider their specialism to be a subject other than physics

For further details please contact us.

Related information

Other IOP Websites

A digital forum for teachers, technicians and their supporters

CPD & support for teachers of physics in England and Wales

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