Science & Education

, Volume 12, Issue 7, pp 645–670 | Cite as

The Physics Laboratory – A Historical Overview and Future Perspectives

  • Ricardo Trumper


In the framework of teaching the natural sciences, ``laboratory'' is a general name for activities based on observations, tests, and experiments done by students. It is hard to imagine learning to do science, or learning about science, without doing laboratory or fieldwork. In this paper, a historical overview of the place, purposes, and goals of the laboratory in physics teaching is presented, together with perspectives for its future related to the most recent results of research in physics education, mainly those concerning the constructivist and social constructivist learning approaches. Based on these approaches we try to validate the belief that microcomputer-based laboratories (MBLs) are one of the most promising perspectives in physics laboratory teaching, based on both theoretical and empirical grounds.

Goals and purposes historical overview microcomputer-based laboratories students' engagement the physics laboratory traditional versus constructivist approaches 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo Trumper
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Science and Science EducationHaifa UniversityIsrael

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