What is Physics Education Research?

Physics Education Research (PER) is a field of research focused on understanding how students think about physics and how to teach physics more effectively. Researchers in PER typically have (or are working towards) PhDs in physics or education. PER is different from traditional education research because researchers in this field are experts in the subject of physics, and can therefore look at student learning in ways that are particular to physics content. Over the last few decades, researchers in PER have made enormous advances in understanding how students learn physics most effectively and in developing teaching methods that apply this understanding to achieve improved student learning.