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Group Members - Jonathan T. Shemwell

Jonathan Shemwell, PhD
Assistant Professor of Science Education
Cooperating Assistant Professor of Physics

330 Shibles Hall
Orono, ME 04469

Office Phone: (207) 581-2411
Email: jonathan.shemwell<at>

Jon received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics with distinction from the United States Naval Academy in 1989, and in 1990 a Master of Science degree in physics at Johns Hopkins University. He earned his Ph.D. in Education at Stanford University in 2011. Jon has been a member of the Physics Education Research Laboratory since fall 2011.

In addition to his appointments as assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Development and in the Department of Physics, Jon is a faculty member of the Center for Research in Science Education (RiSE Center) and the Maine Partnership for Physical Sciences (Maine PSP). He teaches a variety of courses relating to science education and research methods.

Jon’s research interests include cognitive representations in science, especially mental models, classroom discussion and scientific argumentation, alternative modes of science learning such as using contrasting cases, and assessment.

Curriculum Vitae

Webpage at the Department of Education and Human Development

Recent Publications

Chase, C. C., Shemwell, J. T., and Schwartz, D. L., “Explaining across contrasting cases for deep understanding in science: An example using interactive simulations.” In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Chicago (2010)

Shemwell, J. T. and Furtak, E. M., “Scientific argumentation and science discussion: A study of conceptually rich (and poor) student talk.” Educational Assessment, Volume 15, Issue 3-4, 222-250 (2010)


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The Physics Education Research Laboratory
Phone: (207) 581-1237 and (207) 581-1030
E-mail: and
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469