and often employ similar research methods. However, each field is tightly coupled to its parent discipline, which gives rise to differences across the fields of DBER, such as in the history of development, professional pathways for researchers, and emphasis of research.
As described in Chapter 2, the fields of DBER share some common milestones in their development that reflect the larger context of science and education. Yet the developmental trajectories of the DBER fields differ. Physics education research was established earliest, followed by chemistry education research and then engineering education research. Biology, the geosciences, and astronomy education research have emerged more recently. The fields that emerged later appear to have benefitted from building on and borrowing from the more established fields in DBER, especially from physics education research.
The parent disciplines for each field differ in terms of how readily they have embraced research in education, and the availability of venues for publishing research. Chapter 2 describes how such differences continue to shape the way research is conducted in each field of DBER and the paths that scholars can follow to gain expertise in DBER.
Conclusion 2: The fields of DBER have made notable progress in establishing venues for publishing and in gaining recognition from their parent disciplines. However DBER scholars still face challenges in identifying pathways for training and professional recognition.
Each DBER field has one or more professional organizations that support education research through policy statements, publication venues, and conferences. As discussed in Chapter 2, many of these professional homes are sections of larger disciplinary professional societies.
The number of journals that publish DBER varies by field, but currently all of the fields have at least one peer-reviewed journal that publishes DBER. Some tension exists between publication venues intended to share research findings among researchers and venues intended to inform instructors of the findings of DBER that might be useful in their classrooms.
Pathways to establish interdisciplinary research such as DBER are not straightforward. Tenure and promotion committees may not take into account the time and energy necessary to become acculturated into a new field, which poses particular challenges for nontenured DBER faculty. In a different vein, institutions and disciplinary departments do not always recognize the distinction between education specialists whose primary focus is on teaching and DBER scholars who conduct research on teaching and learning. As a result, expectations for DBER faculty regarding teaching, research, and service can sometimes be imbalanced (see Chapter 2).