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Anthony Petrosino



  • Higher Ed: Education, K-12 Administrator, Researcher 


Dr. Anthony Petrosino is a Learning Scientist and an Associate Professor of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education and the Elizabeth G. Gibb Endowed Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin. After completing his Master's at Teachers College, Columbia University, Petrosino received his Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University where he was a member of the Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt (CTGV). While doing his doctoral work, Petrosino was a NASA Space Grant Fellow. After leaving Vanderbilt, Petrosino was awarded a McDonnell Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Wisconsin through the Cognitive Studies in Educational Practice (CSEP) Program and during this period was also a member of the National Center for Improving Student Learning and Achievement in Mathematics and Science (NCISLA). Petrosino was a seven year member of the NSF funded VaNTH Engineering Research Center (a collaboration between Vanderbilt, Northwestern, The University of Texas and Harvard Universities) and the Principle Investigator of a Department of Education funded PT3 grant. While at The University of Texas at Austin he helped establish, sustain and expand the UTeach Natural Sciences Teacher Preparation Program and created two of it's courses (Knowing and Learning in Mathematics and Science Education and Project Based Instruction). Petrosino is a certified K-12 teacher of science with seven years experience as well as a licensed and practiced Superintendent of Schools for two years. 


Dr. Petrosino's research focuses on children's and teacher's STEM reasoning in the context of schooling, with an emphasis on activities and tools for developing thought. There are two major strands to this program. The first focuses on the creation and study of learning environments that foster the development and growth of expertise in K-16 STEM education. A second strand of research, connected to the first, focuses on investigating the opportunities for model-based reasoning (the ability to construct and articulate explanations of observable phenomena) that occur in typical STEM classrooms as students move conceptually from intuitive everyday understanding to more formalized scientific-mathematical-engineering understanding. His additional research interests include informal science learning and the general development of expertise. His articles have appeared in The Journal of Science Education and Technology, The Journal of Engineering Education, The Journal of the Learning Sciences, Mathematical Thinking and Learning, and The American Educational Research Journal. 


Petrosino, A. J., Svihla, V., & Kapur, M. (2008). Models of Expertise in Process- and Content-Dominated Areas of Bioengineering. Paper presented at the ICLS, Utrecht, Netherlands.

Svihla, V., Petrosino, A. J., & Diller, K. R. (2008). Distributed Cognition and Interactions in the Context of Bioengineering Design. Paper to be presented at the ICLS, Utrecht, Netherlands.

Svihla, V., Petrosino, A. J., Martin, T., Rayne, K., and Diller, K. (March 2008). Learning to Design: The Role of Authenticity and the Distribution of Cognition in Student Design Teams. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. New York.

Svihla, V., Marshall, J., and Petrosino, A. J. (2008). K-12 Engineering Education Impacts. Report to the National Academy of Engineering Committee on Understanding and Improving K-12 Engineering Education in the United States. Washington DC.

Petrosino, A. J., Svihla, V., and Brophy, S. (2007). Engineering skills for understanding k-12 engineering education in the United States. Report to the National Academy of Engineering Committee on Understanding and Improving K-12 Engineering Education in the United States. Paper presented at the Committee Workshop. Washinton DC.

Petrosino, A. Martin, T. and Sviha, V. (2006). Editors. Special Issue on Biomedical Engineering Education. New Directions for Teaching & Learning. Jossey Bass Publications

Martin, T., Petrosino, A. J., Rivale, S., and Diller, K. R. (2006). Development of Adaptive Expertise in Biotransport. New Directions for Teaching & Learning.

Petrosino, A.J. (2004). Integrating Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment in Project-Based Instruction: A Case Study of an Experienced Teacher. Journal of Science Education and Technology. Volume 13 (2).

Pandy, M.G., Petrosino, A. J., Austin, B. A., Barr, R.E. (2004) Assessing adaptive expertise in undergraduate biomechanics. Journal of Engineering Education. Vol. 93 No.3 pp. 1-12.

Petrosino, A. J., Lehrer, R., Schauble, L. (2003). Structuring error and experimental variation as distribution in the fourth grade. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 5(2&3), pp. 131-156.

Petrosino, A. J., & Dickinson, G. (2003). Integrating technology with meaningful content and faculty research: The UTeach Natural Sciences Program. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education [Online serial], 3(1). Available: <a href="<p"><p</a>>Nathan, M. J. & Petrosino, A. J. (2003). Expert Blind Spot Among Preservice Teachers. American Educational Research Journal. 40(4), 905-928.