Hi, thanks for both responses and the information. I dug around at compadre.org and now do graduate physics education.
In our adviser's group research is demarcated into two main strands, physics education
(e.g. formal learning; high school, college and graduate physics understanding) and science education
(informal/free-choice learning; elementary and middle school science understanding; pubic understanding of science). For example, in our group and the first strand, one student pursues cognitive modeling about wave-particle duality (hardcore quantum mechanics pedagogy), another about attitudes of specific items in the history [and philosophy] of science in secondary physics, another about student understanding of reversible/irreversible thermal processes at a gifted science high school, and another about open-inquiry physics. In the second strand, science education, one student researches about 'science-museum fatigue', another about the implications of the middle-school 'integrated science' curriculum, another about elementary school-student understanding of the nature of science through stories, another analyzes physics textbooks to uncover "presentist" or "Whiggish" perspectives of science controversies (or lack there of), another about ethics in science, and another is attempting to quantify 'science-culture literacy' of certain cities in eastern Asia. Seminars are interesting yet bewildering. There is a tremendous amount for the physics students to absorb in history and philosophy of science, psychology, socio-cultural (sociology) studies, pedagogy (education), and other philosophy topics like epistemology, ethics, and metaphysics, in addition to all of the physics coursework
taken. Worth-while yet at times really overwhelming. Nevertheless, we pick up a lot and I have learned a sizable minority of concepts about the human structure of physics, science instruction, 'constructivism', some cognition, and science's wider implication for 21st century literacy. Enter at your own risk.