Physics and Astronomy Education Research (PAER) is devoted to studying how students learn and searching for ways to help them learn better. Recognizing the special difficulties that learning physics entails requires a great depth of subject knowledge, so much of this research can be done only by physicists in physics departments. The Rutgers' PAER group, consisting of a number of physicists in the department together with members of the graduate programs in Education and Math, are investigating more effective cognitive approaches, with emphasis on investigation, evaluation, representation, and linguistic issues. We are also doing work on technological innovation in physics teaching.
The group has also long been involved in developing innovative teaching environments. This has included Keller-type self-paced courses, minilabs, a hands-on Physics Learning Center, and the use of student response systems,
Our group founded the Extended Physics programs for engineering and science majors. These courses have had nearly two decades of success helping underrepresented groups succeed in the science and engineering programs. We continue to develop methods conducive to enhancing the the degree completion rate of women and underrepresented minorities.