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College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Dr. Erin E. Peters-Burton
PhD, George Mason University
Director, Center for Social Equity Through Science Education
Secondary Education 6-12

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Peters-Burton

Phone: (703) 993-9695
Fax: (703) 993-2013
Email: epeters1 (

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
Thompson Hall 1401
4400 University Dr.
MS 4B3
Fairfax, VA 22030


Dr. Peters Burton's experience as an engineer and a secondary science teacher for 15 years helps her relate research to practice in science and engineering education. She has won several state and national awards for her work in secondary science education and holds a National Board Certification in Early Adolescent Science. In 2005, Dr. Peters Burton was selected as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow for the NASA where she advised the agency in their development of curriculum for teachers across the United States. Her work at NASA led her to be chosen as a member of the committee developing the first K-12 National Engineering Standards.

In addition to her work with science education in Virginia and nationally, she spends time doing classroom research in developing student scientific epistemologies and computational thinking. She continues to develop research projects that investigate ways that students, particularly those underrepresented in STEM fields, and teachers can use self-regulation strategies to learn scientific knowledge and to think like scientists and engineers.

Dr. Peters-Burton is Founder and Director of the Center for Social Equity through Science Education at Mason, which is an academic center that conducts research and philanthropy related to science and STEM education (


Research Interests

Dr. Peters-Burton’s research agenda is based in social justice and she pursues projects that help students who feel excluded in science classes become more aware of the scientific enterprise and how scientific knowledge is generated. She is interested in the nexus of the nature of science, science teacher pedagogical content knowledge, and educational psychology. She has been co-PI for two NSF-funded grants, Opportunity Structures for Preparation and Inspiration in STEM (OSPrI) and Developing a Model of STEM-Focused Elementary Schools (eSTEM) that have empirically identified criteria for the design of successful inclusive STEM high schools and elementary schools. In addition, she is PI for an NSF-funded research project entitled, Fostering Student Computational Thinking with Self-Regulated Learning, which will develop an electronic notebook that prompts students to think computationally with self-regulated learning strategies while collecting analytics on student learning (Science Practices Innovation Notebook; SPIN). Dr. Peters-Burton is also an editor of the STEM Road Map series published by NSTA Press, K-12 curriculum based on 5-week problem based learning modules that integrate STEM, English language arts, and social studies concepts. 

Recent Publications

Peters-Burton, E. E., Rich, P. J., Kitsantas, A., Stehle, S.M.*, & Laclede, L*. (online first). High school biology teachers’ integration of computational thinking into data practices to support student investigations. Journal of Research in Science Teaching.

Parrish, J. C., Pleasants, J., Reid, J.W., Mulvey, B.K., & Peters-Burton, E.E. (online first). Using card sort epistemic network analysis to explore preservice teachers’ ideas about the nature of engineering. Science & Education.

Peters-Burton, E. E., Dagher, Z., & Erduran, S. (online first). Student, teacher, and scientist views of the scientific enterprise: A comparative epistemic network analysis using two nature of science frameworks. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education.

Peters-Burton, E. E., Peters, V., Swart, J.W.*, Stehle, S.M.*, & Laclede. L.* (2023). Case studies of two exemplar engineering-focused elementary schools: Programs, professional development, and growth mindset. Research in Integrated STEM Education, 1, 89-116.

Peters-Burton, E. E., Rich, P. J., Kitsantas, A., Laclede, L.*, & Stehle, S. M.* (2022). High school science teacher use of planning tools to integrate computational thinking. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 33(6), 598-620.

Peters-Burton, E., Provinzano, K., Koskey, K.L.K., & May, T. (2022). Integrating beyond content: A framework for infusing elementary STEM-focused schools components into full-service community schools. Education Sciences, 12 (511), 1-19.

Peters-Burton, E. E., Goffena, J.* & Stehle, S.M.* (2022). Utility of a self-regulated learning microanalysis for assessing teacher learning during professional development. Journal of Experimental Education, 90(3), 523-549.

Cleary, T., Kitsantas, A., Peters-Burton, E. E., Lui, A., Mccleod, K.*, Slemp, J.*, & Zhang, X.* (2022). Self-regulated learning professional development: Shifts and variations in teacher outcomes and approaches to implementation. Teaching and Teacher Education, 111, 103619.

Gray, C.*, Peters-Burton, E.E., Smith, C., & Parsons, E.C., (2022). Basking shark tourism in Donegal, Ireland: A case study of public interest and support for shark conservation. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems.

Porter, A.* & Peters-Burton, E. E. (2021). Investigating teacher development of self-regulated learning strategies for secondary science students. Teaching and Teacher Education, 105, 103403.

Mulvey, B., Parrish, J. C., Reid, J. W., Papa, J., & Peters-Burton, E. E. (2021). Making connections: Using individual epistemic network analysis to extend the value of nature of science assessment. Science & Education, 30, 527-555. DOI:

Peters-Burton, E. E., Behrend, T., Hudson, C.*, Matray, S.*, & Ford, M.* (2020). Development and validation of a STEM high school self-assessment inventory. School Science and Mathematics, 120(8), 477-490.

House, A., Peters-Burton, E. E., Peters Hinton, V., Remold, J., & Levin-Guracar, E. (2020). Critical components of STEM-focused elementary schools. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, 20(8).

 Peters-Burton, E., House, A., Peters-Hinton, V., & Remold, J. (2019). Understanding STEM-focused elementary schools: Case study of Walter Bracken STEAM Academy. School Science and Mathematics,   119,  446-456.

Peters-Burton, E. E., Parrish, J. C., & Mulvey, B. K. (2019). Extending the utility of the Views of Nature of Science assessment through epistemic network analysis. Science & Education, 28(9), 1027-1053.

Stehle, S. M.*, & Peters-Burton, E. E. (2019). Developing student 21st century skills in selected exemplary inclusive STEM high schools. International Journal of STEM Education, 6(39). doi:10.1186/s40594-019-0192-1

Merritt, E., Chiu, J. L., Peters-Burton, E. E., & Bell, R. (2018). Teachers' integration of scientific and engineering practices in primary classrooms. Research in Science Education, 48, 1321-1337. DOI: 10.1007/s11165-016-9604-0

   Peters-Burton, E.E., House, A., Han, E.*, & Lynch, S. (2018). Curriculum and instruction at inclusive STEM high schools. Journal of Research in STEM Education, 4(2), 193-212.

Peters-Burton, E. E., & Johnson, T.* (2018). Cross-case analysis of engineering education experience in inclusive STEM-focused high schools in the United States. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 6(4), 320-342.

Lynch, S. J., Peters-Burton, E. E., Behrend, T., House, A., Ford, M.*, Spillane, N.*, Matray, S.*, Han, E.*, & Means, B. (2018). Understanding inclusive STEM high schools as opportunity structures for underrepresented students: Critical components. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 55(5), 712-748. DOI 10.1002/tea.21437


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