Jill McNew-Birren, Ph.D.

Jill McNew-Birren
Jill McNew-Birren, Ph.D.Marquette University

Schroeder Complex, 113A

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-3892

Associate Professor and Doctoral Program Coordinator

Educational Policy and Leadership

Degrees Held

  • Ph.D., Washington University, Department of Education, Areas of Concentration: Science Education, Biology and Biomedical Sciences, Urban Education
  • M.S. Oklahoma State University, Curriculum and Instruction
  • B.S. John Brown University, Biochemistry

Courses Taught

  • Elementary Science Methods
  • Middle/Secondary Science Methods

Research Interests

  • Community activism toward environmental justice
  • Citizen Science and Community Ecology
  • Science learning through participation in socio-scientific policy controversy

Recent Publications


McNew-Birren, J., Hildebrand, Tyra, Belknap, Gabrielle (2017). Strange bedfellows in science teacher preparation: conflicting perspectives on social justice presented in a Teach For America-university partnership. Springer Science+Business. DOI 10.1007/s11422-016-9791-z.


McNew-Birren, J., (2015). ‘All policy is local’: punctuated equilibrium theory and the politics of US lead regulation. Environmental Politics, 24(5), 681-702.


McNew-Birren, J., (2014). Public understanding of local lead contamination. Public Understanding of Science, 23(8), 929-946.


McNew-Birren, J. (2013). Public understanding of local lead contamination. Public Understanding of Science. DOI: 10.1177/0963662513500743​.

Van den Kieboom, L.,​McNew-Birren, J., Eckman, E., Silver-Thorn, M. B. (2013). Field experience as the centerpiece of an integrated model for STEM teacher preparation. Teacher Education & Practice. 26(2) 339-355.


McNew-Birren, J. (2012). A ‘Tragic Dichotomy’: A Case Study of Industrial Lead Contamination and Management in Herculaneum Missouri. In W. F. Tate (Ed.), Research on Schools, Neighborhoods, and Communities. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.


Weld, J., Stier, M., McNew-Birren, J. (2011) The development of a novel measure of scientific reasoning growth among college freshmen: The constructive inquiry science reasoning skills test. 40(4) 101-107.


McNew, J. (2004). Sink or swim: The transformative student teaching experience. In J. Weld (Ed.), The Game of Science Education. Boston, MA: Pearson Allyn & Bacon (80-102).

McNew, J. C., Weld, J., & Blake, R. (2004).Studying science teachers: Determining the impact of professional organization membership and standards use. The Science Teacher, 68(7), 32-37.


McNew, J. (2000). Sink or Swim: A student teacher's reflections on becoming a science coach. The Clearinghouse, 74(1), 35-37.


Weld, J., & McNew, J.C. (1999). Attitudes toward evolution. The Science Teacher. 66(9), 26-31.

Professional Presentations

McNew-Birren, J. C. (2011, April).A forced education: The environmental policy context for environmental education. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

McNew-Birren, J. C. (2010, May). Think globally, act locally: The complexity of citizen perspectives around local environmental contamination in Herculaneum, Missouri. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO.

McNew, J. C. (2009, April). Science learning in confronting environmental lead contamination. Paper presented at the National Association of Research in Science Teaching, Garden Grove, CA.

McNew, J. C. (2009, March). Herculaneum, Missouri: The causes and consequences of industrial lead contamination. Paper presented at the Urban Affairs Association, Chicago, IL.

Duncan, G.A., McNew, J. (2007, April). Ways of seeing diversity: Methodological dilemmas in the study of urban youth. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.

Balcerzak, P., Elmesky, R., Gay, A., Iverson, J., McNew, J., Oliver, L. (2007, January). Design of a K-12 learning progression in sub-cellular processes. Symposium at the International Conference of the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE), Clearwater, FL.