Rosemary Russ

Associate Professor

(608) 263-4638

226-C Teacher Education Building

225 N. Mills St.

Madison, WI 53706

Russ, Rosemary

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Dr. Russ earned her Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Maryland, working with the Physics Education Research Group to explore K–16+ student science learning. Upon completing that work, she spent 5 years in the Learning Sciences Program at Northwestern as a postdoctoral fellow and then Research Assistant Professor modeling teacher and student cognition in science and mathematics. When she arrived at UW Madison in 2012, she began in the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction where she designed and studied learning environments to support pre-service elementary teachers in equitably attending to their students’ science ideas. In 2020, she began working with the statewide community organization EXPO (Ex-Incarcerated People Organizing) in their mission to both educate our community about the harms of the carceral system and change the policies and laws that make up that system. Additionally, she is the coordinator for the tutoring program in the Dane County Jail and is interested in how education programs for system-impacted individuals understand (or not) and disrupt (or not) the inequitable dynamics within the system. Across her 20-year career, Dr. Russ’ has focused on examining who and what counts as knowledge in different contexts and with different populations. She uses the lens of epistemology, and specifically the constructs of epistemic authority and epistemic injustice, to theorize about how participants interact around knowledge and knowledge claims. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Spencer Foundation/National Academy of Education, as well as other private foundations.


  • PhD Physics, University of Maryland, 2006
  • BS Physics, Applied Mathematics, Statistics, North Carolina State University, 2002

Select Publications

  • Odden, T. O., & Russ, R. (2019). Defining sensemaking: Bringing clarity to a fragmented theoretical construct. Science Education, 103(1), 187-205.
  • Russ, R., & Berland, L. K. (2019). Invented Science. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 28(3), 279-301.
  • Russ, R., (2018). Characterizing teacher attention to student thinking: A role for epistemological messages. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 55(1), 94-120.
  • Russ, R., & Odden, T. O. (2018). Physics Education Research as a multidimensional space: Current work and expanding horizons. Reviews in Physics Education Research (Vol 2): Getting Started in PER, 2 Online Publication/Abstract.
  • Russ, R., Sherin, B. L., & Sherin, M. G. (2016). What constitutes teacher learning?. In D.H. Gitomer & C.A. Bell (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Teaching 5th Edition (pp. pp. 391-438). Washington, D.C.: American Educational Research Association.
  • Russ, R., (2014). Epistemology of science vs. Epistemology for science. Science Education, 98(3), 388-396.
  • Russ, R., Lee, V. R., & Sherin, B. L. (2012). Framing in cognitive clinical interviews: Student understandings of the interview interaction. Science Education, 96, 573-599.