Physics Education


Mr. Ivan Culaba (Ph.D. Candidate)

Mr. Joel Maquiling (Ph.D. Candidate)

Eleanor Alma D Jugueta (MS Candidate)


Extensive and rigorous research in physics education for the past two decades revealed learning difficulties of students in calculus-based and non-calculus-based introductory physics courses. Student learning difficulties were shown to be deeply- rooted and largely influenced by incorrectly interpreted personal experiences. Important results have also shown that traditional or passive learning approaches do not improve student conceptual understanding of very basic physics concepts. Surprisingly, this result was demonstrated to be independent of the instructor even when lectures were elegantly prepared and the instructor lead the students through a clear and meticulous outline.


Upon its official designation as a CENTER OF EXCELLENCE (COE) by the Commission of Higher Education (CHED), the department allocated considerable funding for outreach and community service. For the past three years (1999 – 2001), the department conducted Summer Instructors Physics Workshops participated in by a maximum of 30 physics instructors from 9 different colleges and universities from various regions throughout the Philippines. Physics laboratory and demonstration equipment are fabricated in the university machine shop while the facilitating faculty prepares the corresponding laboratory manuals. The participants simultaneously learn concepts while being trained to use the equipment through a series of laboratory experiments that are generally problem solving in nature. As an enabling activity, the equipment that the participants use in the workshops is donated to their respective institutions.

In line with its commitment to physics education, the department hosted the Asian Physics Education Network (ASPEN) Active Learning (AL – MANILA) Trainers Workshop held on February 26 – March 2, 2001 at the Professor Norberto Tecson Laboratories. It was a regional activity funded by UNESCO and participated in by a total of 14 university physics instructors from Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, Vietnam, Australia, Japan and China. Guided by the principle of self-help, ASPEN has become a very important forum for sharing concerns, ideas and solutions to various problems in physics education.

Presently, a number of faculty members are actively involved in developing DEMONSTRATION MATERIALS and ACTIVE LEARNING CLASSROOM and LABORATORY ACTIVITIES for introductory physics instruction.


Reese Macabebe, Ivan Culaba, and Joel Maquiling, Interactive Lecture Demonstrations

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