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


Science Educator and Director, Resources for Science Teaching and Learning

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

She got her start by taking a role as a Research Assistant at AAAS Project 2061 in Washington, DC shortly after receiving her B.S. 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 writer on the Toward High School Biology curriculum (NSTA Press), which aims to better prepare students for high school biology by connecting ideas about chemical reactions to the biological phenomenon of growth. She progressed to Research Associate and discovered her desire to be at the interface of research, design, and practical implementation through curriculum development. 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. In addition, when Achieve convened the EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science she served on the first cohort of panelists.

At BSCS she recently 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 socio-scientific issues. Her current projects and goals focus on the design of instructional materials that explore the roles science education can play in civic engagement and social justice.

In her free time she enjoys hiking on Colorado’s plentiful trails with her husband and dog, collecting too many books, 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.