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Mehmet Aydeniz, PhD

Professor, STEM Education/Science


Mehmet Aydeniz is a professor of STEM education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Aydeniz has a range of research interests related to the ways in which scientific knowledge is constructed, evaluated and validated, and a focused research agenda about student and teacher learning.  

His research efforts have focused on improving instructional quality both in K-12 and college science classrooms for ambitious and equitable teaching. This includes teacher self-efficacy to implement argumentation-pedagogy, teacher noticing, teacher’s pedagogical content knowledge for inquiry and modeling.


Professional Background 


Research on Teacher Learning and Efficacy

His current research efforts with teachers center around supporting teachers to design, select, and implement cognitively demanding learning tasks that can empower students to assume and enact epistemic agency in the context of argumentation, modeling, engineering design and computational thinking.

Research on Student Learning and Assessment

Professor Aydeniz’s efforts around student learning focus on development and validation of a student engagement scale that attends to the behavioral, epistemic, cognitive, motivational, metacognitive, social and emotional aspects of student learning in the context of cognitively demanding group-based learning tasks. This strand of his research is promising in terms of its ability to predict the correlation between the type and level of student engagement and their academic achievement.

Current Projects

Professor Aydeniz currently leads two research labs.

Epistemic Curiosity Lab (ECL): The ECL’s major goal is to develop new pedagogical knowledge, teaching resources and assessment tools related to epistemic curiosity. The group’s efforts focus on ways to define, measure and promote students’ acquisition of epistemic curiosity in STEM courses.

Scientific Collaboration Lab (SCL): The major goal of SCL is to study scientific practices, particularly scientific collaborations in authentic scientific laboratories. As a group, we are interested in understanding how scientific collaborations start, how they are nurtured, sustained and how they become dysfunctional both at the group level and the institutional level. Our efforts focus on developing and validating collaboration structures that promotes creativity, problem solving and productivity among science teams.


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (Curriculum and Instruction), Florida State University, Tallahassee

Master’s of Science (M.Sc.) (Curriculum and Instruction), Florida State University, Tallahassee

Bachelor’s of Science (Science Education), Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey


Professional Service

Institutional Service

  • Chair, UTK Graduate Council, 2018 – 2019
  • Chair, TPTE Personnel Committee 2015-2019
  • Chair, PTE Graduate Student Award Committee 2016-2019
  • Member, Graduate School of Education Leadership Council 2017-2019
  • Program Coordination, Science Education
  • Chair, Science Education Assistant Professor Search 2017-2018

Professional Service

  • Editor-in chief, - The Journal of Research in STEM Education.
  • Reviewer- International Journal of Science Education
  • Reviewer- Science Education
  • Reviewer- Research in Science and Technology
  • Member, Tennessee New Science Standards Board

Community Engaged Service

  • UTK-Lenoir City Schools STEM partnership
  • Tennessee Science Leadership Council


Contributions to edited volumes

Aydeniz, M. (2019). Learning and teaching chemistry through argumentation. In S. Erduran (Ed) Argumentation in Chemistry Education (pp. 11-31). Royal Society of Chemistry. London.

Aydeniz, M. (2018). Computational thinking in the STEM disciplines: Foundations and research Highlights. In Myint Swe Khine (Ed), Research Highlights in Computational Thinking (253-277). Springer, The Netherlands.

Aydeniz, M. & Cakmakci, G. (2017). Integrating engineering concepts and practices into science education, In K. Taber & B, Akpan (Eds). Science Education: An International Course Companion. (pp. 221-235). Boston: Sense Publishers. ISBN: 978-94-6300-747-4.

Brown, C.L., & Aydeniz, M. (2017). Maximizing science teachers’ pedagogical potential for teaching science literacy to ELL. In De Oliveira, Luciana C., Campbell Wilcox, Kristen (Eds.) Teaching Science to English Language Learners (83-110). Palgrave Macmillan. New York.

Selected articles published in refereed journals

Aydeniz, M., & Dogan, A. (2016). Exploring the impact of argumentation on pre-service science teachers’ conceptual understanding of chemical equilibrium. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 17, 111-119. DOI: 10.1039/C5RP00170F.

Aydeniz, M., & Dogan, A. (2016). Exploring pre-service science teachers’ pedagogical capacity for formative assessment through analyses of student answers. Research in Science & Technological Education, 34(2), 125-141.

Aydeniz, M., & Bilican, K. (2016). Appropriating epistemic norms of science through sustained practice with argumentation: Can It happen? A learning progressions perspective. Journal of Education in Science, Environment and Health. 2(2), 125-133.

Aydeniz, M., & Ozdilek, Z. (2015). Enhancing pre-service science teachers' self-efficacy to teach science through argumentation: Challenges and possibilities. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 14(7) 1255–1273. DOI: 10.1007/s10763-015-9649-y.

Aydeniz, M., & Kirbulut, D. (2014). Exploring challenges of assessing pre-service science teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK): A case study. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 42 (2), 147-166.

Aydeniz, M., & Bilican, K. (2014). What do scientists know about the nature of science? A case study of novice scientists' views of NOS. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education,12 (5), 1083-1115. DOI 10.1007/s10763-013-9449-

Aydeniz, M., & Gurcay, D. (2013). Assessing quality of pre-service physics teachers’ written arguments. Research in Science & Technological Education, 31(3), 269-287.

Ogan-Bekiroglu, F., & Aydeniz, M. (2013). Enhancing pre-service science teachers' perceived self -efficacy of argumentation through modeling and mastery experiences. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 9(3), 233-245.

Aydeniz, M., & Pabuccu, A. Cetin, P. S., & Kaya, E. (2012). Argumentation and students' conceptual understanding of properties and behaviors of gases. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 10 (6), 1303- 1324. DOI: 10.1007/s10763-012-9336-1.

Aydeniz, M., & Southerland, S. A. (2012). A national survey of middle and high school science teachers’ responses to standardized testing: Is science being devalued in schools? Journal of Science Teacher Education, 23, (3) 233-257.

Russell, T., & Aydeniz, M. (2012). Traversing the divide between high school science students and sophisticated nature of science understandings: A multi-pronged approach. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 22(4), 529–547. DOI 10.1007/s10956-012-9412-x.

Aydeniz, M. & Hodge, L. L. (2011). [Invited]. Identity: a complex structure for researching students’ academic behavior in science and mathematics. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 6(2), 509-523.

Aydeniz, M., Baksa, K., & Skinner, J. (2011). Understanding the impact of an apprenticeship-based authentic scientific research program on high school students’ understanding of scientific inquiry. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 20(4), 403-421.

Davis, N., Genc-Kumtepe, E., & Aydeniz, M. (2007). Fostering continuous improvement and learning through peer assessment. Educational Assessment, 12(2), 113-135.

Contact Information

  • A408 Jane & David Bailey Education Complex, 1126 Volunteer Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37996
  • Phone: 865-974-0885
  • E-mail: