When our organization was established in 1930, our goal was "ensuring the dissemination of the knowledge of physics, particularly by way of teaching." In 2000 our mission statement was rewritten to offer a new emphasis while remaining committed to the goal that guided AAPT for over seventy years.

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


AAPT aspires to be the leading voice and driving force in physics education.


As a member-driven volunteer organization, the AAPT is guided by and committed to the following:


  • Promoting excellence in physics education by supporting AAPT members and reaching out to all teachers of physics in their efforts to provide an effective physics learning experience for all students at all levels and in all teaching and learning environments—in the classroom, in the laboratory, and in public settings.
  • Publishing exemplary journals (American Journal of Physics and The Physics Teacher) and providing other physics teaching resources that adhere to the highest standards in content, pedagogy, and technology.
  • Providing and supporting quality professional development for physics teachers at all levels through meetings, topical conferences, and workshops.
  • Supporting and disseminating research into how students learn physics.
  • Ensuring excellence in physics instruction by promoting research-based education of future teachers of physics at all levels, elementary through graduate.
  • Advocating for physics education at local, state, and national levels.
  • Keeping aware of the main issues facing the physics world and of the overarching questions to be tackled by the physics community, and providing a forum for discussion of these issues at National Meetings.


Goal 1: Continue to engage and invigorate the vibrant community of physics students and physics educators.

  • Strategy 1.1: Develop programs, products, and services that meet the needs, build on the strengths and pique the interest of physics educators throughout their careers.
  • Strategy 1.2: Engage students and early career professionals with their own special programs and offerings to support them as they navigate the transition into the profession.

Goal 2: Enhance professional development opportunities for physics educators.

  • Strategy 2.1: Provide and support professional development for physics educators and physics education researchers locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • Strategy 2.2: Support physics educators at all levels in adopting modern practices in physics education that encourage active engagement, and are grounded in research.

Goal 3: Enhance the visibility and role of AAPT as an expert on physics education policy and practice.

  • Strategy 3.1: Advocate for funding and policies that promote excellence in physics teaching and learning.
  • Strategy 3.2: Continue to develop relationships with institutions and organizations, nationally and internationally, to increase support for physics education at all levels.

Goal 4: Enrich the field by supporting the diversity of physics students and educators at all levels.

  • Strategy 4.1: Develop, improve and support programs to increase the number of physics students and retain these students in our physics classes, at all levels and from all academic, socio-economic, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Strategy 4.2: Develop, improve and support efforts to recruit and provide professional development for educators of under-represented and marginalized students in physics.

Approved by the AAPT Board of Directors, January 12, 2019