Developmental requirements Learning, discussion and application skills Students should show interest in natural phenomena, and should take efforts to understand them.
With respect to investigations, they should have the necessary skills to distinguish important characteristics and factors from unimportant ones.
They should be able to provide a synthesis of the experiences gained from observation, measurement, experiments, and discuss these experiences. They should be trained to classify, group and compare phenomena and data, and should be able to establish correlation among them.
They should be able to interpret the results of experiments, as well as to draw conclusions and make generalisations based on such results. They should be able to formulate and describe the acquired knowledge by using the most important technical terms and sign systems.
They should be able to present measured data with graphs, to read and interpret graphs, as well as to establish simple mathematical correlation. They should be trained to sketch simple figures, diagrams and to interpret figures and diagrams.
They should be familiar with SI, as well as other metrical units outside SI which are often used in practice, and should be able to use the fractions and multiples of these units.
They should be able to interpret phenomena which are related to the material but have not been discussed yet.
They should be able to apply their knowledge in physics for issues in connection with the protection of the environment and nature conservation, and should try to contribute to the alleviation and solution of problems, as far as possible.
They should be aware of the existence of the laws of nature behind every technical achievement. They should be able to recognise the discussed physical foundations in their technological environment.
They should be familiar with the opportunities computers offer in the science of physics and for studying physics. They should understand that computers can effectively assist measuring in physics, increase the quantity and accuracy of the measured data, and help the processing of data. Computer simulation and computerised mathematical methods provide help in understanding and demonstrating complex physical processes. Computer technology may make learning physics easier by means of tutor programmes and specialised multimedia software. Students should have basic computer skills which enable them to use such tutor and multimedia software efficiently.
Students should develop a need for continuous, independent learning.
They should be able to expand their knowledge in physics independently, use reference books, various encyclopaedias, formulae and tables collections available in the library. They should understand popular scientific publications / programmes on their own level of intellectual development, and compare the information from them with what has been learnt at school. They should be able to distinguish the lurid, ungrounded news often occurring in the media from genuine scientific information. They should know that in science, results are adopted through procedures with stringent requirements. Empirical observation may only be considered to have a scientific value, if independent sources have repeatedly justified it, and if it has reoccurred in the experiments of various laboratories all over the world. Moreover, only those theories and models meet the requirements of scientific investigation which agree with observations and experimental experiences.
The world-wide web provides abundant opportunities for learning about physics and expanding one’s knowledge independently. Scientific information, data, popular scientific material are as easy to find on the Internet, and may be used as teaching aids facilitating the study of physics. Students should use their secondary level studies to learn the possibilities and techniques of finding information on the net.
Familiarity with the material, orientation in space and time During the years spent at grammar school, students should be made aware of the fact that natural sciences study the objective, material properties of the world. They should know that matter may take various forms of appearance. They should be familiar with the various types of matter occurring in our natural and artificial environment, as well as their properties and ways of utilisation. They should have basic knowledge about the ‘particle-like’ nature of matter. They should know that physical phenomena are described by laws and theories with different validity and scope of application, and they should have seen the practical demonstration of this fact.
They should be able to plan and implement simple experiments independently. They should be trained to use simple experimental and measuring instruments safely, without causing accidents.
They should be aware of the fact that physical processes must be interpreted in time and space, and the field of physical investigations include the instantaneous processes of the invisible micro-world, as well as the several million year long changes of the star systems.
They should be able to recognise the irreversibility of natural processes.
They should know that for the purpose of investigating various phenomena, the location and movement of bodies are usually considered with reference to the Earth, but alternative frames of reference can also be chosen.
Familiarity with the nature of scientific investigation and the development of natural sciences Students should be able to recognise that understanding nature is a long process. It is an approximation of reality. The development of science does not only mean the quantitative expansion of our knowledge, it is also the modification of theories or established laws, and often the evolution of completely new theories.
The simple examples discussed in class should make the role of mathematics in physics clear for students. The fundamental causal relations among physical phenomena are described with mathematical formulae. If mathematical expressions describing the laws of physics are used in calculations, new consequences may be drawn and new knowledge may be obtained. However the results of these calculations may only be accepted, if they can be proved experimentally.
Students should be able to find the place of the major discoveries and achievements in the history of world culture. They should be familiar with the life and work of the outstanding physicists and inventors, with special regard to Hungarians. They should be able to quote a few examples to prove the influence of physics on other fields of thought and technological development.
Number of teaching hours per year: 56 New activities Analysis of mechanical experiments: distinction between important and unimportant circumstances, identification of causal relations, summary of experiences without the teacher’s help.
The application of simple mechanical measuring instruments. The concept of measurement error. Estimation of error.
Graphical representation of measured results, diagrams to show correlation, the application of graphical methods in problem solving.
Quantitative analysis of motion with the help of methods offered by modern technologies (evaluation of self-made video recordings, application of a PC equipped with photosensor as a measuring instrument, etc.)
Experimental check of the calculated results of simple mechanical problems.
Accurate verbal explanation of the laws of physics learnt at school, experimental evidence. Application of the general laws of physics discussed in class to explain everyday phenomena (e.g. in the field of traffic, sports).
Investigation of sources of information related to physics available in the school library (handbooks, encyclopaedias, reference books, experiments, popular scientific magazines, materials for gifted students, periodicals.)
Use of the above for specific purposes, under the teacher’s direction.