Education Statement

Research in Physics Education

Revision Approved by the Council on Nov. 8, 2019

Physics education research is pursued in physics departments at many leading undergraduate, graduate and research institutions. It has attracted funding from major governmental agencies, it is both objective and experimental, it has established publication and dissemination mechanisms and Ph.D. students trained in this field are recruited to establish new programs. Similar to other areas of physics, physics education research explores both fundamental and applied questions and can and should be subject to the same criteria for evaluation (papers published, grants, etc.) as research in other fields of physics. The outcome of this research has advanced our understanding of student learning in physics and has resulted in significant improvements in the methodology of teaching and teaching evaluation.

APS applauds and supports the acceptance in physics departments of research in physics education. Much of the work done in this field is very specific to the teaching and learning of physics and deals with the unique needs and demands of particular physics courses and the appropriate use of technology in those courses. The successful adaptation of physics education research to improve the state of physics teaching in any physics department requires close contact between the physics education researchers and researchers in the more traditional areas who are also educators. researchers who are also teachers. APS recognizes that both the success and impact of physics education research are greatly enhanced by its presence in physics departments.

The review process for any statement may be started at any time if deemed necessary by the Panel on Public Affairs, and at least once every five years.

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