Phenomena and Principles: Presenting Quantum Physics in a High School Curriculum

Efraim Yehuda Weissman, Avraham Merzel, Nadav Katz, Igal Galili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The goal of teaching quantum physics (QP) in high school is a problematic and highly turbulent area of divergent views, curricula studies, and claims. The innovative curricular approach of discipline-culture (DC) suggests a way of overcoming its significant difficulties. It suggests presenting QP as a fundamental theory structured in terms of the nucleus, body, and periphery. Applying this perspective in our study, we interviewed nine experts with respect to their view of how the nucleus of QP should be presented to high-school students. With the different viewpoints of the core essentials in hand, we compiled the nucleus of the QP. We also examined this subject using nine introductory university textbooks that might suit high school students and considered their coherence and suitability with regard to the specified nucleus. We found some confusion regarding the status of theoretical items: some fundamental principles, as perceived in the eyes of the experts, are presented as phenomena. Not only does this mismatch represent a special barrier for both the teachers and students to understand QP, it promotes an inadequate image of QP as well as a distorted view of the nature of science. Finally, we offer a framework for a DC-based QP curriculum free of the noted deficiencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1299-1317
Number of pages19
JournalPhysics (Switzerland)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • curriculum design
  • discipline-culture
  • quantum physics
  • teaching

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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