Partner 5        Oldenburg University (UO)



The Physics Education / History and Philosophy of Science Group uses history and philosophy of science in its teacher student training programme for more than 25 years. Central research topics were correlations of students’ with historical concepts, students’ beliefs about the nature of science, development of teaching strategies and materials towards a better comprehension of scientific concepts and the nature of science including considerations of gender issues. Research on history focuses science as practice and culture emphasising scientific experimentation. Thereto, the widely respected “replication method” was developed. It comprises the material reconstruction of historical instruments, redoing experiments, and conveying results in historical, cultural, and educational contexts. The group has developed several exhibitions in close co-operation with a museum and maintains a permanent exhibition of replicas at the university. They were invited frequently to present their experimental performances with their replica in several institutions all over the world. Several documentary films about experimentation in the history of science were realized in cooperation with professional film makers. Replicas of historical experiments were widely used for in-service teacher training courses on regional up to international scale. More recently, the group is actively engaged in the German “Physics in Context Project” (PIKO) for the development of teaching materials and techniques in close cooperation with science teachers. The group provides three permanent, two non-permanent positions and additional staff.


Falk Riess studied physics, pedagogy and philosophy at the Technical University of Darmstadt (diploma in physics, a PhD degree in education). He works as a professor for physics and physics education and is the founder and leading head of the internationally well known Physics Education/History and Philosophy of Science Group. As a founding staff member of the graduate school “Research on Learning and Instruction” he participates on a national research network which internationally well known. He is also the Director of the Universities “Centre for Teacher Training and Learning and Teaching Research” which is a key institution connecting researchers, teacher trainers and teachers in Northern Germany. His students won several scientific awards. He himself was honoured with the Joseph H. Hazen Education Prize by the History of Science Society (USA) in 2004. His scholarship is widely accepted and his broad research and teaching experience is estimated nationally and internationally.