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Andy Cavagnetto

Andy Cavagnetto

Field of Study: Biology Education
Title: Associate Professor
Degrees: PhD. Science Education, The University of Iowa
Homepage: Homepage/Lab Web Site Link
Google Scholar:  Google Scholar
Office: 236 Cleveland Hall
Phone: 509-335-6391
Fax: 509-335-5046
Mailing Address: School of Biological Sciences
Washington State University
PO Box 644236
Pullman,WA 99164-4236


I am interested in reasoning and construction/critique of ideas as students pose questions, gather data, and negotiate evidence-based claims in biology learning contexts. I study how teachers create these environments and how students engage in them. Over the past few years, this had led me to focus on environmental factors influencing students’ willingness to cooperate, how classroom environments influence engagement in scientific reasoning and productive talk, and the subsequent impact on student outcomes. Currently I serve as a co-principal investigator on an NSF-funded project examining scientific reasoning from primary data in a large-lecture undergraduate biology context ( The study is examining materials and pedagogical structures (supporting content, reasoning, and norms of interaction) for integrating primary data into large lecture biology. Additionally, my collaborators and I are exploring the relationship between pedagogical structures and productive student-student talk in large-lecture biology and are working to develop profiles of student-student interactions in data interpretation contexts.

Representative Publications:

  • Premo, J., Cavagnetto, A. R., Kurtz, K., & Honke, G. (2019). Categories in Conflict: Combating the application of an intuitive conception of inheritance with category construction. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 56(1), 24-44.
  • Premo. J., Cavagnetto A. R., & Davis, W. (2018). Promoting Collaborative Classrooms: The impacts of interdependent cooperative learning on undergraduate interactions and achievement. CBE-Life Science Education, 17:ar32, 1-16.
  • Premo, J., Lamb, R., & Cavagnetto, A. R. (2018). Conditional cooperators: Student prosocial dispositions and their perception of the classroom social environment. Learning Environments Research, 21(2), 229-244.
  • Premo, J., Cavagnetto, A. R., & Lamb, R. (2018). The Cooperative Classroom EnvironmentMeasure (CCEM): Refining a Measure that Assesses Factors Motivating Student Prosociality. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 16(4), 677-697. DOI:10.1007/s10763-017-9804-8
  • Premo, J., & Cavagnetto, A. R. (2018). Priming Students for Whole-Class Interaction: Using interdependence to support behavioral engagement. Social Psychology in Education, 21(4), 915-935.
  • Cavagnetto, A. R., & Kurtz, K. J. (2016). Promoting Students’ Attention to Argumentative Reasoning Patterns. Science Education, 100(4), 625-644.
  • Hand, B., Cavagnetto, A. R., Chen, Y. C., & Park, S. (2016). Moving Past Curricula and Strategies: Language and the Development of Adaptive Pedagogy for Immersive Learning Environments. Research in Science Education, 46(2), 223-241.