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The proposal for the Council was assembled by the PER Election Organizing Committee (PEREOC)

  • Stamatis Vokos, Chair
  • Edward Redish
  • Robert Beichner
  • Sanjay Rabello
  • Scott Franklin
  • Luanna Ortiz
  • Paula Heron
  • Jose Mestre
  • David Meltzer
  • Ramon Lopez
  • Lillian McDermott


This document proposes a structure for the formation of a Physics Education Research Topical Group (PERTG) within the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). The PER community has been growing and developing over the past few years. As a result, a variety of PER related issues have arisen that require some means of identifying a representative leadership group that can serve as a nexus for community decision-making. Therefore, the PER Election Organizing Committee (PEREOC) was established to propose an initial election and membership process of the PER Leadership and Organizing Council (PERLOC). PEREOC was charged with working with the appropriate AAPT leaders to create a proposal for the following actions. The PEREOC proposal was discussed with the PER community at the Summer 2004 meeting of the AAPT in Sacramento, CA and approved by the Executive Board at the Summer 2006 meeting.

  • Establish the method by which AAPT members identify themselves as PERTG members, and determine the amount of the fee that members pay, including discounts for students, etc., and how such funds will be administered initially.
  • Determine the PER Leadership and Organizing Council structure, scope of action, election cycle, rules of nomination, and initial slate of candidates (including the option of additional candidates to be put forward by the AAPT membership, subject to the nomination rules). The slate of candidates proposed by PEREOC may not include members of PEREOC or members of the RIPE committee; members of these committees may be nominated by the AAPT membership.
  • Conduct the first election and report the results.
  • Disband after the first election is completed.

PER Membership within AAPT

For AAPT members to be part of the PERTG, they will self-identify and pay an annual fee. The fee will be paid at the time of renewing AAPT membership and will be deposited in a special account to fund PERLOC activities/functions.

Administration of the PER membership fee

The chair of the PERLOC, or his/her designee, will have signatory authority for spending monies from the account in which the fees collected for PERTG membership reside.

Funds from the fee will pay for such things as running elections, publication (such as PERC proceedings), PERC meetings, and other related PER activities.

Initial Election

For the very first election, no slate shall be nominated by PEREOC. Any individual from the PERTG in good standing may be nominated as follows. To be nominated, a candidate must be a PERTG member in good standing, and the nominee shall have either 5% of the PERTG membership, or 15 individuals, whichever is larger, send emails of support for the candidate’s nomination to the PEREOC chair. PERTG members in good standing will vote for up to 6 different individuals and the 6 receiving the most votes will be declared winners. In order to preserve the rotation of 2 new candidates each year, the 6 newly elected members will draw lots to decide which two will serve for 1 year, which two will serve for 2 years, and which two will serve a three year term. The initial election will be conducted electronically by PEREOC and will not be held until there are at least 100 members in good standing.

PERLOC Structure

The PERLOC shall have 6 elected members plus, ex-officio, the chair of the AAPT Research in Physics Education Committee (RIPE) (voting member). Each year, the PERLOC will elect its own chair from among the 6 elected PERLOC members. The chair may not serve more than two consecutive terms. Each elected member of PERLOC will serve a 3-year term.

Scope of Action and Activities for PERLOC

PERLOC is empowered to perform the following types of activities. These are not intended to be exhaustive.

  1. Conduct elections to replace out-going PERLOC members.
  2. Expend funds from the PER account with the chair of PERLOC or his/her designee having signatory authority.
  3. Compile periodic newsletters that will be sent electronically to PERTG members informing the PER community of events and news relevant to PER.
  4. Organize internal committees and assign positions as necessary (e.g., newsletter editor).
  5. Set up the Physics Education Research Conference (PERC) organizing committee.
  6. Oversee the editing, publication and distribution of the PERC proceedings.