Department of Physics and Astronomy

Popular Science Presentation

The Division of Physics Education Research is one of the eight research divisions in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Uppsala University.  Our aim is to improve the teaching of physics through systematic examination of the experience of learning physics. In our research we explore issues such as how knowledge could be shared in more productive ways, and the effects that social and cultural practices may have on learning and how these may be mediated. The area of physics education that we focus on is principally university level undergraduate study; however, we do not exclude work in other levels of education.

We believe that research and teaching transformation go hand-in-hand with creating a teaching environment that is skilfull, knowledgeable, thoughtful and built on a combination of sound practical and scientific knowledge. However making scientific claims about what constitutes good teaching and what factors are crucial for making learning both meaningful and possible is no easy task. This is because all education systems are essentially complex systems. For instance, even trying to understand why students do not complete their programmes of study takes careful consideration. Hence we often use complexity theory and derivates of this theory in our research.

What distinguishes Physics Education Research (or PER as it is known) from general education research is that it is strongly discipline based. Yet even though we have a clear focus on physics, our PER activities integrate physics, education and practical teaching knowledge. All come together in interesting and pertinent research questions, appropriate research methods and rigorous scientific analysis which generate interpretations that can guide future teaching practice.

Bringing Thermal Imaging into the Classroom (opens in new window)
Collaboration with FLIR Systems, a company producing infrared cameras, has led to the production of this video to show how the technology can be used in education, targeting the school market segment. Jesper Haglund.

Heat Cameras make the Invisible Visible (Article in Swedish, opens in new window)
Jesper Haglund and others.
Article in the net journal, Venue: Exchange of thoughts and knowledge about pre-school and school. 


Increase of study success starts in the classroom. Jonas Forsman.
Article published in the Blog Studiesucces / Hoger Onderwijs  University of Leiden.

Teaching and learning physics in English (Article in Swedish, opens in the window)
John Airey.
John Airey presented his research on the effects on student learning of teaching Swedish undergraduate physics courses in English. 

Lär för din framtid – så lyckas du med högskolestudier. (Learning for your future - how to succeed in your university studies) Studentlitteratur.
Andersson Chronholm, Jannika och Andersson, Staffan.

Sinnrikt : En nyfiken bok om våra sinnen. University Press, Uppsala. 
Staffan Andersson och Jannika Andersson Chronholm.