At the 2005 Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research (FFPER) conference, a subgroup of conferees met to generate a list of recommended articles in PER.
In contrast to the existing resource letters in PER and problem solving research, the desired outcome was a concise list that articulates the fundamental interests and issues of PER. As such, this list explicitly focuses on works generated by the PER community. The canon is intended as a resource for new graduate students, faculty members entering the field, or by physics educators who wish to familiarize themselves with seminal and exemplary research and curriculum development in PER.
For a full explanation of how the PER canon working group assembled this list, please see the APS Forum on Education Fall 2005 Newsletter