Koolifüüsika uutmine

Renewal of the Estonian school physics

  • Henn Voolaid University of Tartu Faculty of Science and Technology


This abstract gives an overview of how Estonian school physics broke
free from the Soviet education system during the period of 1987–
1992 by adopting new concepts, syllabi and physics textbooks. Many
school teachers together with lecturers and scientists from universities
enthusiastically contributed to the work. The focus of this paper
is not on the substance of the school physics, division of lessons
between different parts of physics, distribution of lessons at different
learning grades etc. Instead, attention is paid to the process, results
achieved and persons involved. The timeline viewed extends up to
the year of 1999, as by that time the full set of new physics textbooks
based on new concepts and programme was published. The
research for updating school physics started from the Estonian physics
teachers’ convention in 1987 with 108 participants, 94 of whom
were physics teachers. At that time the issues in the field of Estonian
school physics included the content of the subject, teaching methods
and teacher training. During the period of 1987–1989 many meetings
and discussions took place between the physics teachers of schools
and universities and education administrators. That work was coordinated
by the Estonian School Physics Society. In 1992 the official
programme for school physics and a full set of physics textbooks were
ordered from the Estonian School Physics Society by the Estonian
Ministry of Education. The programme was presented, reviewed,
adapted and finally accepted also in 1992. By the year of 1999 new
physics textbooks corresponding to new concepts and syllabi were
finally published and that marks the end of the renewal process of
Estonian school physics.