About Us

These people designed the assessment items and conducted this research. You can contact them at scientificargumentation@stanford.edu.

Project Directors

Jonathan Osborne

Jonathan Osborne is the Kamalachari Professor of Science Education. He started his career teaching high school physics in inner London before joining King’s College London in 1985 where he worked for 23 years. He became a full professor in 2000 and Head of the Department of Education in 2005. He then joined Stanford in 2009. During his career, he has been an advisor to the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee for their report on Science Education in 2002, President of the US National Association for Research in Science Teaching (2006-7) and has won the association’s award for the best research publication in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching in 2003 and 2004. He was a member of the US National Academies Panel that produced the new framework for the next generation standards in science in the US. Currently he is chair of the expert group responsible for producing the framework for the OECD PISA science assessments in 2015 and 2018. His research focuses on the teaching and learning of argumentation, how to teach literacy in science, and students attitudes towards science.

Dr. J. Bryan Henderson

Dr. J. Bryan Henderson received his PhD from Stanford University in Science Education. He is interested is in the utilization of educational technology to facilitate peer-to-peer science learning via evidence-based formative assessment techniques. His classroom-based research on peer learning intersects with multiple years of experience studying science argumentation under the guidance of Dr. Jonathan Osborne. As a Co-Founder and Research Director of the Braincandy non-profit, Henderson is working with teachers across the U.S. to make formative assessment materials and best practices freely accessible via cloud-based applications. Henderson’s scientific background is in astrophysics, with research positions at major observatories in Arizona, Chile, and The Netherlands. He has over a decade of experience teaching statistics and physics at both the university and community college levels. In addition to a PhD from Stanford, Henderson also possesses three Bachelor’s degrees in Physics, Astronomy, and Philosophy (with Distinction) from The University of Washington and two Master’s degrees in Physics and Education from Portland State University. He is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor at Arizona State University in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation.

Anna MacPherson

Anna MacPherson is a Ph.D. student in Curriculum and Teacher Education in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. Her primary area of research is science education, with particular expertise in learning, cognition and assessment. She is interested in developing new ways to assess complex scientific thinking, as well as understanding how students and teachers use such assessments in the classroom. She has 4 years of experience working with Drs. Jonathan Osborne and Mark Wilson on developing a learning progression for argumentation in middle school physical science, and her dissertation is about the development of a novel assessment of argumentation in biology/ecology. Prior to beginning doctoral study, she taught high school biology and chemistry in the New York City public school system. She holds a B.S. in biology from Stanford and a M.A. in adolescent science education from Hunter College, CUNY. Beginning in June 2015 she will be the Manager of Educational Research and Evaluation at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Evan Szu

Evan Szu is completing his Ph.D. from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2015 where he was awarded an Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Fellowship. He also holds a B.A. in computer science and a B.S. in chemistry from Brown University. His research interests include the effects of popular media on the public engagement with science.

Andrew Wild

Andrew Wild is a PhD Candidate in Science Education. Prior to graduate school, he taught high school chemistry and conceptual physics in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Senior Fellow, a graduate of the Stanford Teacher Education Program, and he holds a B.A. in chemistry from Carleton College. Andrew’s research interests include the influence of social norms on science teaching and equity in science learning.


Special thanks to our collaborators Mark Wilson, Linda Morell, Shi-Ying Yao, and Tina Chiu at UC-Berkeley, Paul Black at King’s College London, Patrick Hurley, Keziah DeFusco and Karen Tran at SERP, and the teachers who provided feedback on the items and issued them to their students. We particularly wish to acknowledge funding from the Institute of Education Sciences Grant No R305A100692.