Graduate Students in
Physics Education Research

AAPT Winter Meeting, Pheonix, AZ:
GSPER Crackerbarrel sesssion.

Answering the question "Should There Be Physics Education Groups in Physics Departments?"

Brian Adrian's notes from AAPT GSPER Crackerbarrel, 1/6/97

We had two related opinions come out of our discussion.

The first was that where the Research in Physics Education program should be located depends on who you wish to impress with the degree you get. If you want to be hired to teach physics at a college level, you should have a Ph.D. in Physics; therefore, your program should be located in the Physics Dept. However, if you wish to be hired to teach anything under college level, you should have a degree in Education.

The second opinion was closely related. It depends on what you wish to do with your degree. If you are going to teach physics majors (or other science people, but not future educators), you should have a Physics Ph.D.. If you are training future teachers how to teach, you need an Education degree.

So two opinions are different in that one depends on who hires you, and the other depends on who you will teach. In both cases, the answer seems to be "It depends on what you want to do with your degree."

This page was prepared by Michael Wittmann, University of Maryland, College Park. Any corrections, additions, or comments are welcome!!! To get in touch with Michael, send email to


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