Transforming science education through research-driven innovation

Jean Flanagan

Image: Jean Flanagan

The more we claim that science education is useful, the stronger our duty to make it so.

~Noah Feinstein


Senior Science Educator and Director of Resources for Science Teaching and Learning

Jean Flanagan joined BSCS in August 2019 as a Science Educator and now serves as a Senior Science Educator and Director of Resources for Science Teaching and Learning. Before joining BSCS, Jean served in a variety of research and design roles within science education nonprofits.

She got her start as a Research Assistant at AAAS Project 2061 in Washington, DC, shortly after receiving her BS magna cum laude in biology. While there, she had the opportunity to work across multiple NSF- and IES-funded projects, contributing to the development of standards-aligned assessment items and serving as a lead curriculum writer. While there she progressed to Research Associate and solidified her desire to focus her work on the interface of research and design through instructional materials.

In 2013, shortly after the Next Generation Science Standards were released, she took a new position with the Smithsonian Science Education Center. There she took a lead role in the planning, design, and development of a new NGSS-designed curriculum series for K–5 that also aimed to broaden access to Smithsonian research, collections, and expertise. When Achieve convened the EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science she served on the first cohort of panelists tasked with reviewing lessons and units for high-quality NGSS design.

At BSCS she led the writing team for BSCS Biology: Understanding for Life, a full-year high school biology course that was designed for the NGSS and is grounded in phenomena and problems linked to highly relevant socioscientific issues. Her current goals focus on exploring the roles science education can play in civic readiness and social and environmental justice.

In her free time she enjoys hiking on Colorado’s plentiful trails with her partner and dog, reading, writing, photography, sampling local breweries, and music.

Selected Publications

DeBoer, G. E., Quellmalz, E. S., Davenport, J. L., Timms, M. J., Herrmann‐Abell, C. F., Buckley, B. C., & Flanagan, J. C. (2014). Comparing three online testing modalities: Using static, active, and interactive online testing modalities to assess middle school students’ understanding of fundamental ideas and use of inquiry skills related to ecosystems. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 51(4), 523-554.

Van Alstyne, K. L., Flanagan, J. C., & Gifford, S. A. (2011). Recreational clam harvesting affects sediment nutrient remineralization and the growth of the green macroalga Ulva lactuca. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 401(1-2), 57-62.