Mark Felton, PhD

SJSU Lurie College of Education Teacher Education Department Faculty Mark Felton

Professor, Teacher Education

Mark Felton is a Professor of Teacher Education & Faculty Associate Dean for Research in the Lurie College of Education.  His research focuses on how students learn to reason with arguments and evidence in science and social science classrooms.  He studies how students learn to leverage peer dialogue to challenge their own assumptions and arrive at more complex, nuanced or accurate levels of understanding.  He is currently studying productive civic discourse among youth on social media.


  • Ph.D., Human Development, Columbia University
  • B.A., Psychology, Stanford University

Recent Publications

  • Miralda, A., Garcia-Mila, M. & Felton, M. (2020). Concept of evidence and the quality of evidence-based reasoning in the elementary graders. Topoi: An International Review of Philosophy. DOI:10.1007/s11245-019-09685-y
  • Felton, M., Crowell, A., Garcia-Mila, M. & Villarroel, C. (2019). Capturing deliberative argument: An analytic coding scheme for studying argumentative dialogue and its benefits for learning. Learning, Culture & Social Interaction.

  • Rapanta, C. & Felton, M. (2019). Mixed methods research in inquiry-based instruction: An integrative review. International Journal of Mixed Methods Research. DOI:
  • Villarroel, C., Felton, M. & Garcia-Mila, M., Banda, A. M. (2019). The effects of argumentative task on the quality of dialogue and writing. Infancia e Aprendizaje (Childhood and Learning), 42(1), 7-86.

Recent Presentations

  • Middaugh, E., Felton, M., & Fan, H. (2020). Building productive online civic discourse: Examining the intersection of platform, issue and individual aims. Panel paper presented at the Association of Internet Researchers Conference 2020. Dublin, Ireland. (Conference moved online due to Covid-19 crisis.)
  • Middaugh, E. & Felton, M. (2020). Capturing nuance on social media: Attending to the role of platform, topic and dialogic aims in online political discourse. Pragmasophia 3. Sicily, Italy. (Conference postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19 crisis)
  • Felton, M., Crowell, A., Garcia-Mila, M. & Villarroel, C. (2019). Arguing deliberatively: Capturing constructive argument in adolescent and adult discourse. Panel paper presented at the European Conference on Argumentation. Groningen, Netherlands.

  • Felton, M. (2019). Why argue? Purpose and the educational potential of argument. Keynote presented at the International Workshop on Successful Online Information Behavior. University of Humboldt/Einstein Center, Berlin, Germany.

  • Felton, M. & Crowell, A. (2018). Argumentation and the nature of constructive dialogue: A study of novice and expert discourse. Paper presented at the European Association for Research in Teaching and Learning (EARLI) SIG 20/26 Conference, Jerusalem, Israel.

Noteworthy Grants and Awards

  • Principal Investigator, Trio Project: Professional Development Across the Teacher Continuum. Office of English Language Acquisition: National Professional Development Grant (U.S. Department of Education, T365Z120188-15). Grant of $1,800,000 awarded AY 2012-2017.

  • Co-Principal Investigator, SPOT: An Classroom observation tool and protocol for STEM in Higher Education, Promoting Research and Innovation in Methodologies for Evaluation (PRIME) Grant (National Science Foundation, DRL-1337069). Grant of $250,000 awarded AY 2013-15.

  • Co-Principal Investigator, Disciplinary Writing Instruction for the Social Studies Classroom: A Path to Adolescent Literacy. Institute for Education Sciences Grant: Interventions for Struggling Adolescent Readers and Writers (U.S. Department of Education). Grant of $1,500,000 awarded AY 2009-2012.

Online Resources

Areas of Research Interest

  • Argumentation
  • Classroom dialogue
  • Adolescent reasoning
  • Teacher professional learning

Recommended Reading

Personality Playlist

Listen to Mark's playlist below and access all of the personality playlists on our Lurie College of Education Spotify account