Portrait image of Joe Johnson
Joe Johnson

Chair, Department of Physics, Associate Professor

Contact Information

OFFICE: Zurn 208
PHONE: 814-824-3674

Dr. Johnson is passionate about sharing the principles of physics with his students and finding ways to connect those principles to students’ lives. His research interests include integration of SocioScientific Issues into STEM education, using technology to engage learners in science, equity and cultural relevance in STEM education, and strategies for working with refugee language learners in science. He was recently awarded a $2.8 million NSF DR K-12 NSF Research grant as Co-Principal Investigator along with colleagues from Arcadia, Villanova, and LaSalle Universities, coauthored a book on the internationalization of STEM education, and published a chapter in the International Encyclopedia of Education. He is also a consultant for the US AID STESSA program advising the development of the STEM curriculum in Egypt.

Dr. Johnson enjoys studying martial arts including Goshin Jutsu karate and Haedong Kumdo, playing disc golf, and spending time with his family. He teaches kick boxing and self-defense classes on campus and advises the Mercyhurst Collegiate Disc Golf Team.

About Dr. Johnson
    • Ph.D., Science Education, State University of New York at Buffalo, 2011
    • M.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction, Gannon University, 2007
    • BS E, Physics Education, Edinboro University, 2003
    • PHYS 100: Conceptual Physics
    • PHYS 102: Principles of Physics II 
    • PHYS 102: Principles of Physics II 
    • PHYS 103: Principles of Physics I Lab
    • PHYS 106: Principles of Physics II Lab
    • PHYS 110: Conceptual Physics Lab
    • PHYS 203: General Physics I Lab
    • PHYS 206: General Physics II Lab
    • PHYS 335: Optics
    • PHYS 350: Mechanics I
    • PHYS 360: Electromagnetism
    • PHYS 450: Senior Research Project
    • SCI: 123 Science of Martial Arts
    • EDSE: 602 Curriculum and Instruction: Mathematics Methods
    • EDSE: 603 Curriculum and Instruction: Science Methods
    • EDSE: Student Teaching Supervision
    • IMU 101: Introduction to Mercyhurst 
    • IMU 102: Involvement at Mercyhurst
    • Integration of SocioScientific Issues into STEM education 
    • Using technology to engage learners in science
    • Equity and cultural relevance in STEM education 
    • Strategies for working with refugee language learners in science
    • Johnson, J., Macalalag, A., Mathers-Lowery, B., & Ialacci, G. (2022). We Strive: Enhancing Implementation of Socioscientific Issues in STEM Classrooms Through Professional Development. The Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher (PAC-TE) Journal
    • Johnson, J., Bahkte, R., Macalalag, A., Dunphy, J., & Titus, S. (2022). The Rise of STEM Education: Social Scientific Issues and STEM Learning. International Encyclopedia of Education.  
    • Johnson, J., Zielinski, M., Essary, J. N., Dean, K., Bartynski, K., & Macalalag, A. Z. (2022). Encouraging STEMpathy: A review of literature addressing STEM learning for students with special education services in inclusive learning environments. In A. Z. Macalalag, I. Sahin, J. Johnson, & A. Bicer (Eds.), Internalization of STEM Education (pp. 1-40). ISTES Organization.
    • Macalalag, A. Z., Sahin, I., Johnson, J., & Bicer, A. (Eds.). (2022). Internalization of STEM Education. ISTES Organization.
    • Chine, D. R. (2022). A Pathway to Success? A Longitudinal Study Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling of Student and School Effects on Academic Achievement in a Middle School STEM Program. J. Johnson & A. Kaban (Eds.). ISTES Organization.
    • Johnson, J. A., & Park, M. (2021). Creating School Scientific Communities Among Urban Refugee ELL Populations. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 10(1), 87-103.
    • Johnson, J., Macalalag, A. Z., & Dunphy, J. (2020). Incorporating socioscientific issues into a STEM education course: exploring teacher use of argumentation in SSI and plans for classroom implementation. Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Science Education Research, 2(1), 1-12. 
    • Macalalag, A., Johnson, J., & Lai, M. (2019). How do we do this: Learning how to teach socioscientific issues. Cultural Studies in Science Education (1) 1-26.
    • Karisan, D., Macalalag, A, & Johnson, J. (2019). The Effect of Methods Course on Pre-Service Teachers’ Awareness and Intentions of Teaching Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Subjects. International Journal of Research in Education and Science, 5(1), 22-35.
    • NSF DR K-12 Grant Application, Understanding STEM Teaching Through  Integrated Contexts in Everyday Life (USTRIVE), Summer 2021-2025, $2,800,000 Awarded
    • Teaching Excellence Award, Mercyhurst University
    • Sigma Pi Sigma National Physics Honor Society 
    • Award for Excellence in Teaching, Dr. Robert C. Weber Honors Program, Edinboro University
    • The Delbert Mullen’s Thinking Outside the Box Award, for graduates committed to making a corner of the world better and who have shown creativity in their studies and exceptional flexibility in balancing demands of school, family, and the community.
    • Presidential Fellow, State University of New York at Buffalo, Department of Learning and Instruction.