Contact Information
Phone:  1-617-353-9366

Educational History

  • Ph.D., Boston College, Educational Psychology and Research
  • M.Ed., Boston College, Program Planning and Evaluation
  • B.S., Boston College, Chemistry


Professor Shann specializes in educational assessment, research, program development, and evaluation. Locally, Dr. Shann collaborates with scientists at Boston University on developing and evaluating applications of advanced technology for interactive, visual learning in science and mathematics. Nationally, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has sponsored her research on student problem solving as well as the evaluation of several national curriculum development and teacher training projects in science education. At the international level, Dr. Shann consults on the reform of higher education and the role of universities in teacher training and national development. She participated in the design of a special masters program for teacher educators in Portugal, and she directed a decade-long program of faculty development for Cairo University, from 1980 to 1989, supported by the World Bank. Dr. Shann served as the expert on higher education for the sector assessment commissioned by the Egyptian Minister of Education in 1989. Named a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in 1986, she worked with colleagues at the Federal University of Ceara to evaluate literacy programs in Northeast Brazil. In 1997, Dr. Shann gave the keynote address to the Associação Nacional de Professores, Lisbon on New Trends in Education: The Case for Standards-Based Reform and Performance Assessment. Dr. Shann was an invited speaker and workshop leader for Harvard University Professional Development Programs for University Leaders in the Gulf Region that were held in the United Arab Emirates, April, 2000. More recently, Dr. Shann has traveled to South Africa to collaborate with university leaders and foundation officials on university linkages for teacher training in science education and program evaluation. She has traveled to more than 75 countries in her work. Professor Shann has held memberships in more than a dozen national and international professional associations. She serves as a reviewer for several professional journals and has published technical reports, monographs, and journal articles on school effectiveness, program evaluation, professional development, and complex problem solving. More than a score of universities, professional associations, private foundations, and government agencies have sought Dr. Shann’s advice on educational issues. Her consultancies include: Harvard Medical School, Northeastern Univeristy, Council for International Exchange of Scholars, United States Agency for International Development, Harvard Institute for International Development, Waters Foundation, Abt Associates, United States Navy Chief of Chaplains and Chief of Naval Training Staffs, and Association of Mining and Engineering Societies.

Courses Taught

  • SED CT556  Educational Assessment
  • SED RS600  Introduction to Research
  • SED RS653  Quantitative Methods
  • SED RS750  Research Colloquium
  • SED RS751  Program Evaluation
  • SED AP998  Proposal Development Seminar

Selected Publications

  • Shann, Mary H. (1992). Curriculum Integration Using Computers As Tools for Learning. SIGTC Connections Journal of the International Society for Technology in Education 8 (3), 7-12.
  • Shann, Mary H. (1992). The Reform of Higher Education in Egypt. Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education 24 (2) 1-10.
  • Shann, Mary H. (1998). Professional Commitment and Satisfaction Among Teachers in Urban Middle Schools. Journal of Educational Research, 92, 2, 67-74.
  • Shann, Mary H. (1999). Academics and a Culture of Caring: The Relationship Between School Achievement and Prosocial and Antisocial Behaviors in Four Urban Middle Schools. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 10 (4), 390- 413.
  • Shann, Mary H. (2001). Students’ Use of Time Outside of School: A Case for Extended Day Programs for Urban Middle Schools. The Urban Review, 33 (4), 339-356.

Selected Presentations

  • Shann, Mary H. (1997). New Trends in Education: The Case for Standards-Based Reform and Performance Assessment. Keynote address to the Associação Nacional de Professores, Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Shann, Mary H.; Haney, Walter; Wise, Arthur; Shields, P.H.; Miller, Jean. (2001, April). The Role of State Assessment in Improving Teacher Quality. Symposium presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Seattle, WA.
  • Shann, Mary H. (2003). Performance Assessment in Science and Technology. Presentation to high school science, mathematics, and technology teachers sponsored by the Limpopo Province Department of Education, Pietersburg, South Africa.
  • Trunfio, P., Hoffman, M, & Shann, Mary H. (2003). Partnerships Between GK-12 Fellows and Boston Area High School Teachers. Presentation at the American Chemical Society Meeting, New York City.
  • Shann, Mary H. & Moodley, Sadha. (2006). The Impact of Interactive Molecular Dynamics Software on Student Learning in Science. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco.

Selected Grants

  • External Evaluator, NSF IGERT Grant on Nanomedicine in Science and Technology, Northeastern University, Sri Sridhar , Principal Investigator. (2005-2010).
  • Co-Principal Investigator, with H.E. Stanley and Sergey Buldyrev. NSF Teacher Training Grant on “Bridging the Gap Between the Microscopic and the Macroscopic Using the Virtual Molecular Dynamics Laboratory.” (2001-2004).
  • Co-Principal Investigator. NSF G-K-12 Scholars Program. (2001-2006).
  • Evaluator for NSF Grant on “Teacher-Researcher Collaboration in Scientific Modeling: The High School Science Virtual Machine Laboratory.” H. Eugene Stanley,Principal Investigator. (1996-2001).
  • Evaluator for NSF Grant on “Water and Molecular Networks: Learning Science Through Guided Discovery.” H. Eugene Stanley, Project Director. (1991-1995).
  • Evaluator for NSF Grant on “On Growth and Form: Learning Science By Doing Science.” H. Eugene Stanley, Principal Investigator. (1989-1994).
  • Principal Investigator/Project Director, US DOE OERI Grant for “Research for Effective Schools: Beyond Basics.” (1989-1992).
  • Project Director for World Bank “Cairo University/Boston University Faculty Development Project.” (1981-1989).

Selected Professional Memberships

  • American Educational Research Association
  • American Evaluation Association
  • Phi Delta Kappa
  • American Psychological Association

Selected Awards/Honors/Special Recognition

  • Boston University Distinguished Faculty Lecture
  • Boston College Alumni Award of Excellence
  • Fulbright—Hayes Senior Research Scholar–Brazil
  • Phi Beta Delta International Honor Society
  • International Who’s Who of Intellectuals
  • Dictionary of International Biography
  • Who’s Who in American Education

Selected University Service

  • Chair, SED Personnel Committee
  • Member, University Promotion & Tenure Committee

Selected Professional Service

  • Reveiwer/Referee for Fulbright Screening Committee Worldwide, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, Educational Researcher, Educational Evaluation & Policy Analysis, Educational Research Quarterly, Journal of Computing in Higher Education
  • Boston University Institutional Representative to the American Educational Research Association’s Organization of Institutional Affiliates; Past Chair of AERA-OIA.

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students at the School of Education benefit from the community feel of a small school along with the resources of a large university. Our students are in the field in both urban and suburban schools as early as their first year at SED.

Graduate Students

Talented graduate students from around the world prepare to become teachers, counselors, administrators, and more in as little as one year at the School of Education. Our students engage in diverse aspects of education both in the classroom and the field.