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Washington State University
College of Education

Andy Cavagnetto

Andy Cavagnetto

Associate Professor
Science Education
Pullman campus
Cleveland Hall 236B
Pullman, WA  99164


Immersive Science Lab website

A former high school science teacher, Andy Cavagnetto has been on faculty at the Washington State University Department of Teaching and Learning and the WSU School of Biological Sciences since 2012.



Areas of Expertise

  • Argumentation
  • Scientific Practices
  • Authority & Authorship in the Classroom
  • Learning Sciences
  • Classroom Environments

Formal Education

  • Ph.D. Science Education,
    University of Iowa, 2006.
  • M.S. Education, Emphasis: Science,
    University of Wisconsin River Falls, 2001.
  • B.S. with Honors, Major: Biology, Minor: Chemistry,
    University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, 1998.

Recent Publications

  • Cavagnetto, A. R., Premo, J., Coleman, Z., & Juergens, K. (2022). Accuracy and idea consideration: A study of small group interaction in biology. CBE Life-Sciences.
  • Arneson, J., Woodbury, J. Anderson, J., Collins, L., Cavagnetto, A., Davis, W. B., Offerdahl, E.G. (2022). Garden variety mutations: Using primary data to understand the Central Dogma in large-lecture introductory biology. CourseSource.
  • Arneson, J., Woodbury, J. Anderson, J., Collins, L., Cavagnetto, A., Davis, W. B., Offerdahl, E.G. (2022). Splicing it together: Using primary data to explore RNA splicing and gene expression in large-lecture introductory biology. CourseSource.
  • Premo, J., Cavagnetto, A. R., Collins, L., Davis, W. B., Offerdahl, E. (2021). Discourse remixed: Using interdependency to shift student learning through talk. Journal of Experimental Education.
  • Cavagnetto, A. R., Hand, B., & Premo, J. (2020). Supporting Student Agency in Science. Theory into Practice, 59(2), 128-138. doi=10.1080/00405841.2019.1702392I led all aspects of this article.
  • Collins, L. B., Cavagnetto, A. R., Ferry, N. C., Adesope, O. O., Baldwin, K., Morrison, J., & Premo, J. T. (2019). May I have your attention:  An analysis of teacher responses during a multi-year professional learning program.  Journal of Science Teacher Education, 30(6), 549-566. was heavily involved in all aspects of the study. I was the intellectual lead on the manuscript, was the PI on the grant that funded this study, and am corresponding author.
  • 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. DOI: 10.1002/tea.21466

Research Interests

Dr. Cavagnetto is interested in understanding and supporting immersive science environments in formal educational settings (K-16). Immersive science environments leverage scientific practices as tools to negotiate understandings of big ideas in the natural sciences. He studies how teachers create these environments and how students engage in them. His early work focused on the Science Writing Heuristic approach (SWH) in K-12 settings to support argumentation as a tool for learning fundamental science concepts. Specifically, he examined teacher implementation of the SWH approach. He has since leveraged some of the foundational principles of the SWH to create argumentation-to-learn opportunities in undergraduate settings including a large lecture biology course. Within undergraduate contexts he has focused on how students engage with and utilize others’ ideas as resources for learning. Building off this work, he is now focusing on how formal learning settings support/inhibit the use and the subsequent impact of universal human characteristics (e.g., autonomy, group belonging, benefit to cost assessment, etc.).

Teaching/Professional Interests

Dr. Cavagnetto teaches science teaching methods courses for both pre-service secondary and elementary education certification programs (BIOL/TCH LRN 430 Methods in Teaching Science; TCH LRN 371 & MIT 534: Teaching Elementary Science) as well as courses in the Math/Science Education PhD program (ED_MTHSC 598: Research Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education, TCH LRN 584: Research in Teaching Mathematics and Science, TCH LRN 531: Frameworks for Research in Mathematics and Science Education).