Physics Education Research: a replicable model for Discipline-Based Educational Research at European universities?

  • Gerd Kortemeyer ETH


How can a practicing teacher focus on student learning in a scholarly fashion? Over the last three decades, in several physics departments at American universities, Physics Education Research (PER) established itself alongside traditional fields such as Solid State or High Energy Physics. Promoted and advanced by discipline-scientists, PER critically evaluates the effectiveness of approaches to higher-education teaching and learning. What brought about this cultural change? The paper chronicles the slow but steady rise of a new field of inquiry and discusses opportunities and challenges for replicating the establishment of Discipline- Based Educational Research (DBER) at European universities.