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Faculty - Jonathan Shemwell

Jonathan Shemwell
Assistant  Professor of Education, Cooperating Assistant Professor of Physics,
and member of the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE Center)

330 Shibles Hall
(207) 581-2411


Ph.D, Science Education  Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 2011
Secondary Science Certification and State of  Illinois Master Teacher  National Board for
Professional Teaching Standards, 2003
Certified (Alternative) Teacher  Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 1998
Certified Nuclear Engineer Officer  Office of Naval Reactors, Washington DC, 1993
M.S., Applied Physics  Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 1990
B.S., Physics (cum laude) United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, 1989



Jon Shemwell strives to build theories of science thinking and learning that inform and propel the design of instruction.  His research interests include cognitive representations, especially mental models; classroom discussion and scientific argumentation; alternative modes of science learning such as using contrasting cases; and assessment.


Recent Publications:

Nissen, J. M., & Shemwell, J. T. (in press). Gender, experience, and self-efficacy in introductory physics. Physical Review Special Topics-Physics Education Research.

Barth-Cohen L, Smith MK, Capps D, Shemwell, J., Lewin J, Stetzer MR. What are middle school students talking about during clicker questions?  Characterizing small-group conversations mediated by classroom response systems.  Journal of Science Education and Technology, 2016, 25:50-61.

Shemwell, J. T., Chase, C. C., & Schwartz, D. L. (2015). Seeking the general explanation: A test of inductive activities for learning and transfer. Journal of Research in Science Teaching52(1), 58-83.

Shemwell, J. T., Avargil, S. A. & Capps, D. K. (2015). Grappling with long-term learning in science: A qualitative study of teachers’ views of developmentally oriented instruction. Journal of research in Science Teaching.

Shemwell, J. T., Gwarjanski, K. R., Capps, D. K., Avargil, S., & Meyer, J. L. (2015). Supporting Teachers to Attend to Generalisation in Science Classroom Argumentation. International Journal of Science Education37(4), 599-628.

Furtak, E. M., Shavelson, R. J., Shemwell, J. T., & Figueroa, M. (2012). To teach or not to teach through inquiry. In S. M. Carver, & J. Shrager (Eds.), The journey from child to scientist (pp. 227-244). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Furtak, E. M., Hardy, I., Beinbrech, T., Shavelson, R. J., & Shemwell, J. T. (2010). A framework for analyzing reasoning in science classroom discourse. Educational Assessment, 15(3-4), 175-196.

Shemwell, J. T., & Furtak, E. M. (2010). Scientific argumentation and science discussion: A study of conceptually rich (and poor) student talk. Educational Assessment, 15(3-4), 22-250.

Shemwell, J. T., Fu, A. C., Figueroa, M., Davis, R. D., & Shavelson, R. J. (2010). Assessment in schools – secondary science. In P. Peterson, D. Baker & B. McGaw (Eds.), International encyclopedia of education (3rd ed., pp. 300-310). Oxford: Elsevier.

Furtak, E. M., Ruiz-Primo, M. A., Shemwell, J. T., Ayala, C. C., Brandon, P., Shavelson, R. J., et al. (2008). On the fidelity of implementing embedded formative assessments and its relation to student learning. Applied Measurement in Education, 21(4), 360-389.


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