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University of Minnesota, TC

Physics Education is a joint program with the Education Department to incorporate Educational research methods in physics-specific cases. Most of the students in the Physics Education program hold a masters in physics and are working toward a doctorate in education.

One of the main projects of the physics education research group has been to create an entirely new method of problem-solving for physics students. Traditional problem-solving has an individual student manipulating equations to get an answer, rather than using their conceptual knowledge of physics. The new problem solving model uses problems that discourage the traditional method. This forces students to develop a co-operative group strategy which is similar to the way real-life physics collaborations work to solve more complex problems than a single individual could handle. Group is led by Ken Heller.