Committee on Research in Physics Education

The Committee on Research in Physics Education (i) promotes research on the teaching and learning of physics as a necessary scholarly endeavor, (ii) creates avenues at AAPT meetings for sharing this scholarship, and (iii) encourages the use of research-based instruction in the physics classroom.

2018 Area Committee of the Year

Session and Workshop Forms

Mission Statement



Committee Members

Trevor I. Smith, Chair (Term ending after WM2021)

John B. Buncher, Vice Chair (Term ending after WM2021)

Alice D. Churukian (Term ending after WM2022)

Ayush Gupta (Term ending after WM2022)

Alan Richards (Term ending after WM2022)

Jeff Saul (Term ending after WM2021)

Beth Thacker (Term ending after WM2021)

Robert C. Hilborn, Ex Officio

Julie McIntyre, Staff Liaison

Past Chairs

James T. Laverty (2019)

Gina Passante (2020)



  1. Encourage and follow research on the teaching and learning of physics and related topics.
  2. Help keep the AAPT membership and the broader science teaching community aware of new and current understanding of how and why students learn, and ways of improving instruction, including the appropriate use of new tools and technologies.
  3. Encourage both the use of the outcomes of research and the doing of formal and informal research in the physics classroom and laboratory.
  4. Encourage recognition of research in physics education as a valid area of inquiry within physics departments.