New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13


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Andy Cavagnetto

Institution: Washington State University

Country: United States

A former secondary science teacher, Dr Cavagnetto completed his PhD at the University of Iowa in 2006 before taking an assistant professor at Binghamton University in New York from 2006-2012. He then transitioned to his current position at Washington State University where he serves as an associate professor; jointly appointed in the Department of Teaching and Learning and the School of Biological Sciences. At WSU he directs the Immersive Science Learning Environment Lab and oversees the primary and secondary science education programs at Washington State University - Pullman.

Dr Cavagnetto is interested in student-to-student interactions with a particular interest construction and critique of argument as students pose questions, gather data, and negotiate evidence-based claims in science learning contexts. He studies how teachers create these environments and how students engage in them. Throughout much of his career, Dr Cavagnetto has conducted studies in primary classrooms using the Science Writing Heuristic approach. Over the past few years, he has transitioned to examining tertiary biology classrooms. At the tertiary level he has focused on environmental factors influencing whole class cooperation, how such environments influence engagement in argumentation, and subsequent impact on student outcomes. Currently, he serves as a Co-Principal investigator on the National Science Foundation funded project Investigating Deliberative Argumentation in Large-Lecture Biology. The project is guided by the following goals:
• Examining materials and pedagogical structures (supporting content, reasoning, and norms of interaction) for integrating primary data into large lecture biology.
• Exploring the relationship between pedagogical structures and productive student-student talk in large lecture biology.
• Developing profiles of student-student argumentative interactions.

More information about this project can be found at: (

Dr Cavagnetto has published in top journals in the field of science education. These articles can be found at:

Areas of expertise: Science Education, Science Inquiry, Argumentation, Argumentation-to-learn, Science Teaching, Teacher Professional Development, Biology Education.

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