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Jessica Watkins

Contact Info:
Tufts University
Department of Education
Paige Hall
Medford, MA 02155

Office: 617.627.3244

Jessica Watkins

Research Assistant Professor

  • Ph.D., Harvard University, Physics Education
  • Ed.M., Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • B.S., Rice University, Physics

Jessica received her BS in chemical physics from Rice University in 2002. After working for two years in higher education, she went on to earn her EdM from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2005. In 2010, she received a PhD from Harvard University on research conducted on underrepresented students' performances and experiences in introductory physics courses taught using Peer Instruction. During a two-year postdoctoral position at University of Maryland, she examined an undergraduate organismal biology course, focusing on the nature of the interdisciplinary tasks and student practices integrating biology, mathematics, and physics. Now at Tufts University, she is excited to work on another interdisciplinary project, looking at the integration of engineering and literacy activities in elementary schools.


  • Watkins, J., Coffey, J. E., Cooke, T. J., and Redish, E. F. (accepted). "Disciplinary authenticity: Enriching the reforms of introductory physics courses for life-science students." Phys. Rev. ST - PER.
  • Watkins, J. and Mazur, E. (submitted). "Peer Instruction and student retention in STEM majors."
  • Dreyfus, B. W., Redish, E. F., and Watkins, J. (2011). "Students' Views of Macroscopic and Microscopic Energy in Physics and Biology." Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings 2011, AIP Conference Proceedings.
  • Hall, K., Watkins, J., Coffey, J., Cooke, T. J., and Redish, E. F. (2011). "Examining the Impact of Student Expectations on College-level Curricular Reform." American Educational Research Association 2011 Conference.
  • Watkins, J., Hall, K., Redish, E. F., and Cooke, T. J. (2010). "Understanding How Students Use Physical Ideas in Introductory Biology Courses." Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings 2010, AIP Conference Proceedings.
  • Watkins, J. and Mazur, E. (2009). "Using JiTT with Peer Instruction." In Just in Time Teaching Across the Disciplines, Eds. S. Simkins and M. Maier. pp. 39-62.
  • Lasry, N., Mazur, E., and Watkins, J. (2008). "Peer Instruction: From Harvard to Community Colleges." American Journal of Physics, 76, 1066-9.
  • Crouch, C. Watkins, J. Fagen, A., and Mazur, E. (2006). "Peer Instruction: Engaging students one-on-one, all-at-once." In Reviews in Physics Education Research, Eds. E.F. Redish and P. Cooney.