GIREP Proceedings

On the verdict of the German Physical Society against the Karlsruhe Physics Course a chronicle of events


Proceedings of the GIREP MPTL conference 2014, Palermo

Chapter 3, Physics teaching and learning at secondary level, p. 269 

Zusammenfassung: The Karlsruhe Physics Course (KPC) is a novel approach to the teaching of physics at the secondary school. The KPC text books have since been used in a certain, slightly increasing number of German schools. Simultaneously, ideas of the KPC have found their way into the mainstream textbooks. The basic ideas of the course had been published in the European Journal of Physics, the American Journal of Physics and other scientific reviews. Several selected chapters had been presented on previous GIREP-Meetings. 

Only recently, the German Physical Society (DPG) got aware of the course. In their opinion the KPC represents a danger to the teaching of physics at school and University. 

Therefore, the DPG nominated an „expert group“ with the assignment of finding scientific errors in the KPK. The group believed to have found such errors. Thereupon the DPG has initiated a campaign with the objective of eliminating not only the KPC textbooks from the market but to eradicate any other manifestation of ideas that might have originated in the KPC work. 

DPG did so not only in Germany but worldwide. So, among other things, DPG alerted the European Physical Society and the Chinese Physical Society. 

As a result of these measures, a discussion of unusual fierceness arose, first in Germany, but then spreading to other countries. Thereby the physics community got more and more polarized. 

A chronicle of an eventful year and a brief evaluation will be given from the perspective of the author.