A brief History of GIREP
In the years 1960-64 OECE (later to become OECD) arranged a series of international meetings to encourage the renewal of Physics teaching. The meetings proved to be a valuable source of inspiration for the participants. However, from 1964 OECD concentrated on other fields and stopped supporting meetings on physics education.
A number of people who had attended the previuous meetings, led by prof. W. Knecht, Switzerland, believed that the series of international meetings on teaching physics in schools should continue. To this end they formed an international working group: GIREP was founded 15. March 1966 with Prof. Knecht as President.
At the beginning the number of members of GIREP was quite small (a few tens), but it soon grew to over 100 and now, for many years, it is quite stable at about 250.
Very soon GIREP began to organize international meetings, finding sponsorship from Universities, Ministries of Education, UNESCO; ESA and collaborating with many other national and international organisations. One way the Ministries of Education sponsor the Meetings is paying for the attendance of local school teachers.
Since 1969 all meetings published proceedings, distributed to all members. Sometimes other proceedings were also distributed (for example: ICPE Conference on Education for Physics Teaching, Trieste 1980; Microscience Conference on Computers in Science Education, Balaton 1985; ICPE Teaching Modern Physics Conference on Condensed Matter, Munich 1988; RIO FOLLOWUP – International science education conference on environmental issues, Eger 1994 ).
Now there is a growing archive of the past proceedings available to members on this website.
GIREP is now a collaborating group of concerned individuals, often working with other organisations to create conferences, with the prime function unchanged from the founding: to arrange a series of international meetings to encourage the renewal of Physics teaching.
Statutes of GIREP
New Statutes of GIREP approved by GIREP General Assembly in July 2015 and valid since the beginning of 2016 (when GIREP was registered in Belgium as an international non-profit organization GIREP vzw) is available here.