Friday, December 18, 2009

Arnold Arons' Role in the History of Physics Education Research

Some blog followers may be interested in a recent discussion-list post of the above title [Hake (2009). The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: Dewey Dykstra, in a PhysLrnR post “early history of PER”. . . . [PER = Physics Education Research]. . . . quoted PER pioneer Bob Fuller's account of that subject. Fuller's assessment of the role of Arons and Karplus in the history of PER is:

(a) consistent with my own that "Arnold Arons, along with Robert Karplus, can fairly be called one of the founding fathers of U.S. Physics Education Research. . . .” and

(b) inconsistent with (1) Beichner's view that Arons' only contribution to PER was his role in the formation of McDermott's PER group, and (2) the opinion of a reviewer of my AJP-rejected "The Arons Advocated Method" [Hake (2004)] that Arons' “activities did not constitute systematic investigations. . . .Therefore this claim. . . [that he's one of the a founding fathers of PER]. . . . should be removed."

I suggest that Fuller consider editing a future volume of “Reviews in Physics Education Research” so as to set the historical record straight.

To access the complete 17 kB please click on


Hake, R.R. 2004. "The Arons Advocated Method," submitted to theAmerican Journal of Physics on 24 April 2004; online at (144 kB).

Hake, R.R. 2009. "Re: Arnold Arons' Role in the History of Physics Education Research," online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at Post of 29 Jun 2009 to AERA-D, AERA-L, Chemed-L, EvalTalk, Net-Go, Phys-L, PhysLrnR, & POD.

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