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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., Laclede, L.*, Stehle, S. M.*, Rich, P. J. & Kitsantas, A. (in press). High school science teacher use of planning tools to integrate computational thinking. Journal of Science Teacher Education.

  • Peters-Burton, E. E., Goffena, J.* & Stehle, S.M.* (online first). Utility of a self-regulated learning microanalysis for assessing teacher learning during professional development. Journal of Experimental Education. DOI: 10.1080/00220973.2020.1799314
  • Peters-Burton, E. E., Rich, P., Cleary, T., Burton, S., Kitsantas, A., Egan, G.*, & Ellsworth, J.* (2020). Using computational thinking for data practices in high school science. The Science Teacher, 87(6), 30-36.
  • Peters-Burton, E. E., Behrend, T., Hudson, C.*, Matray, S.*, & Ford, M.* (in press). Development and validation of a STEM high school self-assessment inventory. School Science and Mathematics.

  • 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. (2108). 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. DOI 10.1002/tea.2143

  • Sitar, A., May-Collado, L. J., Wright, A. J., Peters-Burton, E., Rockwood, L., & Parsons, E.C.M. (2017). Tourists' Perspectives on Dolphin-Watching in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Tourism in Marine Environments, 12(2), 79-94.

  • Parsons, S. A., Malloy, J. A., Ward Parsons, A., Peters Burton, E., & Cohen Burrowbridge, S. (2018). Sixth-grade students’ engagement in academic tasks. Journal of Educational Research, 111(2), 232-245.

  • Peters-Burton, E. E. & Botov, I. S. (2017). Self-regulated learning microanalysis as a tool to inform professional development delivery in real-time. Metacognition and Learning, 12(1), 45-78. DOI: 10.1007/s11409-016-9160-z

  • Lynch, S. J., Spillane, N.*, House, A., Peters-Burton, E. E., Behrend, T., Ross, K. M., & Han, E.* (2017). A policy-relevant instrumental case study of an inclusive STEM-focused high school: Manor New Tech High. International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology, 5(1), 1-20. DOI:10.18404/ijemst.75656

  • Johnson, C. C., Peters-Burton, E. E., & Moore, T. J. (Eds.). (2015). STEM road map: A framework for integrated STEM education. New York: Routledge. 

  • Peters-Burton, E. E. (2015). Outcomes of a self-regulatory curriculum model: Network analysis of middle school students views of nature of science. Science & Education 24, 855-885. DOI: 10.1007/s11191-015-9769-3

  • Peters-Burton, E. E., Pellegrino, A. & Gallagher, M. (2015). Humanizing the disciplines: Historical thinking and students understanding of the nature of science. The Georgia Social Studies Journal, 5(1), 54-67.

  • King-Sears, M. E., Johnson, T., Berkeley, S., Weiss, M., Peters-Burton, E. E., Evmenova, A., Menditto, A., & Hursh, J. C. (2015). An exploratory study of universal design for teaching chemistry to students with and without disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 38(2), 84-96. 

  • Peters-Burton, E. E., Kaminsky, S., Lynch, S. J., Spillane, N., Behrend, T., Han., E., Ross., K., & House, A. (2014). Wayne School of Engineering: Case sutyd of a rural inclusive STEM-focused high school. School Science and Mathematics, 114(6), 280-290.

  • Peters-Burton, E. E., Schweizer, V., Cobb, S., & Maibach, E. (2014). Weathercaster views on informal climate education: Similarities and differences according to climate change attitudes. Journal of Geoscience Education, 62, 431-444.

  • Peters-Burton, E. E., Behrend, T.,  Lynch, S. J. & Means, B.  (2014). Inclusive STEM high school design: Ten critical components. Theory into Practice, 53, 1-8 .

  • Martínez-Álvarez, P., Bannan, B., & Peters-Burton, E. E. (2012). Effect of strategy instruction on fourth grade dual language learners’ ability to monitor their comprehension of scientific texts. Bilingual Research Journal, 35(3), 331-349.

  • Peters Burton, E. E., (2013). Self-Regulated Learning as a Method to Develop Scientific Thinking. In I. M. Saleh and M. S. Khine (Eds.), Next Generation Learning Science: Reform, Research and Results. Rotterdam, the Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

  • Peters-Burton, E. E. & Baynard, E.  (2013). Network analysis of domains of knowledge about the scientific enterprise: A comparison of scientists, middle school science teachers and 8th grade science students. International Journal of Science Education, 35, 2801-2837. DOI:10.1080/09500693.2012.662609

  • Peters-Burton E. E. (2013). The use of clinical interviews to develop in-service secondary science teachers’ nature of science knowledge and assessment of student NOS knowledge. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 86(6), 229 – 237.

  • Bell, R., Maeng, J. L, & Peters, E. E. (2013). Teaching about scientific inquiry and the nature of science: Toward a more complete view of science. The Journal of Mathematics and Science: Collaborative Explorations, 13, 5-25.

  • Peters-Burton, E. E.& Hiller, S. R. (2013). Fun science: The use of variable manipulation to avoid content instruction. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 24, 119-217. DOI: 10.1007/s10972-012-9269-0

  • Peters-Burton E. E. (2013). Student work products as a teaching tool for nature of science pedagogical knowledge: A professional development project with in-service secondary science teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 29, 156-166. DOI: 10.1016/j.tate.2012.09.005

Other Courses Taught