Active learning in optics and photonics: outcomes and achievements to date

M.Alarcon1, E.Arthurs2, Z.Lakhdar3, I.Culaba4, V.Lakshminarayanan5, J.Maquiling4, A.Mazzolini6, J.Niemela7, D.Sokoloff8 1Division of Basic and Engineering Sciences, UNESCO 2 SPIE-The International Society for Optical Engineering 3 University El Manar 4 Department of Physics, Ateneo de Manila University 5 University of Waterloo 6 Swinburne University of Technology 7 Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) 8 University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA Recipient, 2010 SPIE President’s Award for Optics Education Aimed at enabling physics teachers in developing countries to teach optics more effectively, the UNESCO project on Active Learning in Optics and Photonics (ALOP), now in its seventh year, has developed a trainers’ training curriculum and manual. Workshops have been held in Ghana, Tunisia, Morocco, Zambia, Cameroon, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Peru. Participants from about 30 countries have participated in the learning process using laboratory and hands-on activities. Regional follow-up activities have commenced, including translation of the manual into French and holding locally-organized workshops in French in Tunisia and Morocco. The French edition of the training manual has been completed and plans are underway for a Spanish translation. In 2010, ALOP was awarded the SPIE – The International Society for Optical Engineering President’s Award for Outstanding Contribution in Optics Education. This paper will discuss the ALOP project and its outcomes to date.

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering 2010, 778303.