About the PERC 20/20 Blog

We created this blog to explore emerging themes within PER, ahead of the PERC 20/20 conference. We hope that individuals who are involved with physics education (educators at all levels, students at all levels, researchers, etc.) will participate in this blog, regardless of whether they are attending PERC 20/20.

When we thought about the theme, we envisioned the following areas full of emergent themes:

  • Research areas and methodologies. These include both particular topics (e.g., computation in undergraduate physics) and methodological matters (e.g., paradigms, frameworks, techniques, populations). What topics that currently are niche should become more mainstream? What methods would better inform our research? 
  • Cross-disciplinary actions. These include not only cross-discipline within DBER but also outside of DBER (e.g., social psychology, linguistics, the broad education discipline). With which fields would we benefit from collaborating? Which fields would benefit from our input? How can these collaborations happen? What new insights can we possibly gain from such collaborations? How do cross-disciplinary collaborations lend themselves to new interdisciplinary and/or transdisciplinary inquiries? 
  • Utility of PER. There is an applied element to PER, that the research should positively impact physics education. What areas have PER impacted? What areas should PER impact but currently does not? How (or to what extent) have PER findings been used beyond the local institutions from which such findings were originally reported? To what extent do PER scholars from different nations, regions, or areas share and use each others’ results? 
  • Supporting an evolving community. PER is increasing in size and diversity among the community. Different populations contribute in many ways to the research by offering different perspectives as researchers or even being participants themselves. What are the experiences of different populations (of different races, ethnicities, nationalities, genders, sexual orientations, and many more)? What should PER as a whole do to support equity, inclusion, and diversity among these populations?
  • Structures and culture within PER. The field has multiple elements with which to engage: journals, conferences, committees, professional media, and listservs in both AAPT and APS. There are different ways to connect and collaborate. There are multiple pathways and roles in PER. Research groups have varying perspectives and norms both within and between different areas of studies. Do these structures and cultures promote or hinder the community? If so, how do they facilitate or hinder our community? What are possible ways to resolve these hindrances? Are there new structures and cultures we should adopt? 

There may be many, many more important areas in addition to the ones we named above.


This blog is monitored by the PERC 20/20 organizers. As this is part of AAPT, all guest writers and commenters must follow the AAPT Code of Conduct.

We also have the following guidelines for guest writers.

  • While anyone is welcome to submit a writing before contacting a PERC 20/20 co-organizer, it is strongly encouraged to pitch ideas prior to writing
  • We suggest that writings be roughly 250-500 words
  • Writing must have some point about the PER theme
    • Can be previously published material (like on a blog) if the author has permission to reproduce
  • Guest writers are welcome and encouraged to discuss and refer to their own work, but writings should not be self-promotion
  • Oppressive writings will not be accepted
    • This includes inflammatory or offensive language
  • Guest writers can have a byline or be anonymous. However, the editors will be able to see who submitted the writing.
    • Byline can include job title, URL for professional website or social media, email address