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CODE 67671
SEMESTER 2° Semester
MODULES Questo insegnamento è un modulo di:


Aim of the course is the training of future primary and nursery school teachers on physics, in particular, dealing with some topics presents in the school books. A phenomenological  and experimental  approach to the physics will be suggested based on the observation of the sorrounding phenomena followed by a description of what observed with a simple but correct language. An analysis of the text-books  will be made.



Future teachers will face the problems posed by young people's scientific learning. The topics of scientific education as a tool for the interpretation of reality will be studied along with the role of physics for the construction of interpretative models. In the course, the problems of measurements of lengths, space, time, movement, forces, interaction between objects and energy will be addressed. Lab experiments and class demonstrations will be an important part of the course to exemplify the various topics and for an active participation of students for the preparation of didactical units.


The problems of young people's scientific learning must be tackled with appropriate educational tools. Indeed, the natural curiosity of young people is to be stimulated when they observe their surroundings and this simple action is therefore important to begin the foundation of scientific education for the interpretation of reality. So one of the aims will be understanding the role of observation. Subsequently, the role of physics in constructing interpretative models that can simplify the complexity of phenomena will be introduced. This will be done  by addressing problems related to measurements starting from lengths, positions in space, time, movement, and forces. The aim is therefore the preparation of experiments whose role is essential to make the students protagonist and overcome the mere passive observation. Laboratory experiences will play an important role in this part of the course.

Attendance to proposed educational activities (lectures and classroom demonstrations) will allow students to:

- consolidate their preparation on physics with topics that can be used in primary and nursery schools,

- observe and describe natural phenomena with correct language, overcoming interpretative errors and preconceptions present in common thought about phenomena

- acquire the ability of a practical approach physics putting into practice the experimental method

- acquire the know-how to carry out simple experiments to be included in a didactical unit where children can actively work, learning by doing

- analyze activities and teaching materials from different sources (books, internet) by selecting the most appropriate ones

- build a didactic unit on physics topics based on activities and simple experiments for children in primary and nursery school, working in a team


The teaching consists of lectures, Class attendance is mandatory according to the didactic regulations.

The topics will be introduced by referring to phenomena, actions and objects of everyday life. A simple but accurate explanation of what is observed will be given, illustrating the models and the physical principles. The mathematical formalization will be reduced to the strictly necessary minimum level. Some topics will be accompanied by class demonstrations to make the experimental approach more evident and some experiments, which are suitable to introduce a topic in primary and nursery schools, will be suggested and described in detail. Great importance will be given to the observation and description of phenomena also as a way to stimulate children's curiosity. In general, the role of experimentation, which is the foundation of physics, will be emphasized since this is sometimes obscured by the numerical approach for solving problems typical of high school.

Finally, if for health reasons face-to-face lessons are not possible, they will be made available in streaming mode.

Students with DSA, disability or other special educational needs are recommended to contact the professor at the beginning of the course to agree on teaching and exam methods which, according to the course’s objectives, take into account the modalities individual learning and provide suitable compensatory tools.

Also check the further information about the exams.


In this course we will discuss the following topics:

 - Experimental method, physical quantities, unit.

  - Measurements of length;

 -  The concepts of mass and weight, density;

- Interactions between two objects and definition of force;

- Force of gravity, contact forces and equilibrium; torque and rotation of objects.

- Properties of fluids, pressure in a static fluid and Pascal’s principle, Archimedes’ principle and applications;

Concept of energy and some its characteristics; thermology; phase transitions; the cycle of water; environmental considerations.

- Waves and vibrations, sound;

- Light and correlated phenomena: chromatic properties of a light source (visible spectrum of light), the color perception (the additive mixing of colors); the mixing of colored substance (the subtractive mixing of colors); the color of the things related to light source;

- Reflection and refraction of light, image formation, lenses and mirror properties.

- Celestial mechanics and properties of the Solar System.

For each topic, suggestions for classroom activities with children will be provided.


Handouts of the topics discussed during the lectures, as well as documents relating to suggested experiments, will be available for downloading on AulaWeb. In general, this material is sufficient for the preparation of the oral exam.




The lessons take place during the whole second semester of the academic year. Six hours of lessons are scheduled for each week.



Exam sessions are foreseen in summer (June, July, September) and in winter (January, February)

The exam consists of a discussion of a written text about a lesson plan prepared with other students and an oral test on other topics of the course.

It is mandatory to register using the online mode (University portal services to students), and send the text describing the lesson plan at least seven days before the date of the exam.


The exam is an oral test consisting of two parts:

In first part, there will be a discussion of the project on lesson plans prepared in group with other students, the project topic including the list of students forming the group (4 students) will be decided in agreement with the teacher at the end of the lesson period;

In the second part, the student will answer to questions on all the topics covered in class and different from the topic of the project.

​This method will be same also for online examination.


- For student that for different reasons will not attend lectures, documents describing the demonstration activity in class will be uploaded on the Aulaweb portal.

- For students with disabilities or specific learning disorders (SLD).

Students with disabilities or SLD must first upload their certification on the university's website at the page in the “Students” section. The documentation will be verified by the Inclusion Services for Students with Disabilities and SLD (

Subsequently, at least 10 days before the exam date, they need to send an email to the professor with whom they will take the exam, and in CC to School's Inclusion Coordinator for Students with Disabilities and SLD ( as well as to the Inclusion Services using one of the following addresses (;

The email should specify:

• the name of the course

• the exam date

• the student's surname, name, and registration number

• the compensatory tools and dispensatory measures considered functional and requested.

The coordinator (Professor Laura Traverso) will confirm to the professor that the requester is entitled to request exam accommodations and that these accommodations must be agreed upon with the professor. The professor will respond by indicating whether it is possible to use the requested accommodations.

Requests must be sent at least 10 days before the exam date to allow the professor to evaluate their content. In particular, if conceptual maps are to be used for the exam (which must be much more concise than the maps used for studying), if the submission does not meet the deadlines, there will not be sufficient time to make any necessary modifications that might be requested by the professor.

For more information on requesting services and accommodations, please refer to the document: Guidelines for requesting services, compensatory tools, and/or dispensatory measures and specific aids.


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