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US - AAPT Physics Education Research Topical Group (PERTG)

Recent Forum Posts

On May 16, Alexis Knaub posted Book Giveaway for PERC 2024 session

On 2023-01-23, Patricia Soto posted X-DBER 2023: Abstract submission (due Feb 12)

On 2023-01-19, Patricia Soto posted X-DBER 2023: Abstract announcement

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  • Barth-Cohen, Lauren
  • Etkina, Eugenia
  • Johnson, Nekeisha
  • Krishna, Sujata
  • Lindell, Rebecca
  • Sealfon, Carolyn
  • Thacker, Beth
  • Zich, Raymond

Contact Information

Lauren Barth-Cohen and Raymond Zich are Co-Chairs of PERLOC for 2024 and can be contacted at
lauren.barthcohen@utah.edu and

Carolyn Sealfon, ex officio, is Chair of the AAPT Committee on Research in Physics Education.

The Physics Education Research Topical Group (PERTG) is a Topical Group within the American Association of Physics Teachers, formed for those with a special interest in research on the teaching and learning of physics.

The Physics Education Research Leadership and Organizing Council (PERLOC) is elected by PERTG to serve as the representative body for community decision-making.

Click on links in the tabs at the top or the sidebar to the right to find more information about PERLOC, upcoming events, and more.

PERTG Membership within AAPT

For AAPT members to be part of the PERTG, they may self-identify and pay an annual fee of $40 (free for students). The fee is paid at the time of renewing AAPT membership and will be deposited in a special account to fund PERLOC activities/functions/programs. Click here to apply.

Funds will be used for:
  • costs related to the annual Physics Education Research Conference (PERC), such as funds for invited speakers from outside PER and publication costs for the PERC Proceedings,
  • financial support for PER-Central, the online clearinghouse containing links to PER-based materials, research results and publications, and discussion fora
  • general support for PER activities within AAPT.

PERLOC Members, Roles and Responsibilities

  • Lauren Barth-Cohen (2022-2025) Co-Chair & Co-Treasurer
    Lauren (she/her) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Utah. She also holds an Adjunct Associate Professor position in the Department of Physics & Astronomy. Her research focuses on student and teacher conceptual learning in the physical sciences. She teaches elementary science methods courses for pre-service teachers and graduate courses in education. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her wife and their young child.
  • Raymond Zich (2022-2025) Co-Chair & PERC Liaison
  • Eugenia Etkina (2023-2026) GPER Liaison
  • Rebecca Lindell
  • Beth Thacker
    Beth is a Professor of Physics at Texas Tech University. She has developed a laboratory-based, inquiry-based curriculum (INQ) taught using Socratic questioning pedagogy and has done significant work investigating students' qualitative and quantitative understanding of physics concepts in courses taught by traditional and non-traditional methods. She is presently working on assessing pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of Learning Assistants (LAs) in an inquiry-based physics class, assessing students' thinking skills across pedagogies,  graduate students' understanding of symmetry and conservation laws in classical mechanics, students' understanding of Quantum Computing (QC) at the undergraduate level, Educational Augmented Reality and Physics Identity. She is very excited about research in QC and the development and assessment of an upper level undergraduate QC course.
  • Carolyn Sealfon
    Carolyn is a Visiting Full Professor in Natural Sciences and Computational Sciences at Minerva University. She has also taught, or more, facilitated learning at public universities in Pennsylvania and Ontario, at Princeton University as Associate Director of Science Education, at an inner-city high school in New Jersey, and in various interactive workshops across the continent. As a Ronin Institute Research Scholar, she is building capacity to apply her background as a Bayesian cosmologist and longtime practitioner of PER approaches to learning analytics research. She loves co-creativity and serves as Program Co-Chair for the 2025 Cultivating Ensembles Conference.
  • Nekeisha Johnson (2023-2025) PERCoGS Rep, PERTG MiniGrants
    Nekeisha (she/her) is a graduate student at North Dakota State University pursuing a PhD in Physics and DBER. She is proud to represent the many graduate students pursuing PER work both in PERLOC and in PERCoGS.

  • For contact information click on the relevant link in the membership list at right.