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Re: [Phys-l] Physics First Revisited

PER is absolutely necessary!!!!!! The reason for this is very simple. HS
teaching is based on how the teachers were taught in college. So college
teaching MUST model the type of pedagogy that the HS teachers need to use.
And this type of teaching is the only type which achieves high gain in
either HS or college.

But college teachers in general do not pay attention to the science
education types. They only pay attention to people in their own field. So
you MUST have PER to spread better pedagogy to college physics professors.
Similarly you need MER for mathematicians, BER for biologists, CER for

There is also one other very important factor. The science education
results are general and they need to be particularized to each of fields of
science. In physics this can only be done by physicists. And curriculum
which comes from the education departments will not be respected because it
was not invented here.

PER is a necessity. If it is folded back into another field it will be
ignored by physicists. Incidentally how many PER graduates are there
compared to particle physicists, or ... name a field that has its own

John M. Clement
Houston, TX

PER--is this really a sustainable (even desirable) sub-area in graduate
physics programs. Is PHYSICS educational research unique enough from
SCIENCE educational research and from EDUCATION research to be sustained
a separate entity. When does specialization become too specialized.
there be programs in Physics Educational Research, Chemistry Educational
Research, Biology Education Research, Psychology Educational Research,
History Educational Research, etc.? I don't know..but it seems too
extensive, too specialized at first glance when you list out all
and ask if each is unique enough to support separate programs. PER may
led the way, but perhaps it is time to fold PER into something more
general--Science Educational Research for example--or even fold it back
general Educational Research. Again, just a question.