Astronomy education research is that area of inquiry at the interface of modern astrophysics, education, psychology and the cognitive sciences. Although there have always been individual astronomers, who sought and developed effective techniques for teaching, engaging in that activity that we now call astronomy education research, it is only in the last decade or so that we have seen the emergence of a scholarly field. Today, there are graduate programs, doctorates are awarded, competitive funding programs and a peer reviewed, online journal devoted to astronomy education research, Astronomy Education Review. It is about as silly to ask what is astronomy education research’s value to the astronomical community as it is to ask what is the value of, for example, exoplanet research, or of building ever larger diameter telescopes. Modern astrophysics benefits from all of these, resulting in new knowledge, better understanding and leading to advancement of the field. AER’s contribution is in the development of the human capital that will lead scientific research, teach, and support astrophysics in the next decade and beyond.
Deustua, S., Noel-Storr, J. & Foster, T. (n.d.) In Support of Astronomy Education Research