Initial Publication Date: December 6, 2013

American Association of Physics Teachers

about 9000 members
Education staff lead: Bob Hilborn,

AAPT's mission is to enhance the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching.

Our vision is to be the leader in physics education. We are committed to providing the most current resources and up-to-date research needed to enhance a physics educator's professional development. The results are not only a deeper appreciation of the teaching profession, but most importantly, more enthusiastic involvement from their students.

The Association has identified four critical issues that will guide our future activities:

  • Increase AAPT's outreach to and impact on physics teachers
  • Increase the diversity and numbers of physics teachers and students
  • Improve the pedagogical skills and physics knowledge of teachers at all levels
  • Increase our understanding of physics learning and of ways to improve teaching effectiveness

AAPT promotes strong undergraduate physics education for future STEM workers, future K-12 teachers, and for all students as part of their STEM literacy as future citizens.

AAPT publishes the leading journals, The Physics Teacher and the American Journal of Physics, dedicated to undergraduate physics education. Over the years, the Association has promoted the development of the field of physics education research. The Association also organizes the Physics and Astronomy New and Experienced Faculty Workshops and ran the Strategic Programs for Innovations in Undergraduate Physics (SPIN-UP) program that supports departments in enhancing their undergraduate physics programs.

Premier Contribution to Faculty Development

Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshop

The Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshop series has hosted over 1600 new tenure-track faculty since its inception in 1996. The program now reaches 40-45% of the new hires in physics and astronomy. Research carried out by Charles Henderson (Western Michigan University) has shown that the workshops are highly successful in informing the participants about interactive engagement techniques and that the participants adopt and use methods learned about in the workshops.

The Role of Scientific Societies in STEM Faculty Workshops, available at

Additional Undergraduate Education Activities of AAPT

  • New Faculty Workshops for Two-Year College Physics Faculty
  • Annual Physics Department Chairs Conference (jointly with the American Physical Society)
  • Annual Physics Education Research Conference

  • Topical Conference on Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences