College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University


School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism - George Mason University

The School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism (SRHT) offers exciting, career-ready majors in dynamic fields such as athletic training, tourism and events management, health and physical education, kinesiology, sport management, and recreation management. SRHT features renowned faculty, cutting-edge research, six laboratories and centers, and a diverse student body of more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. Each major requires one or more internship or clinical experiences, ensuring that students graduate not just with a transcript but with a resume that demonstrates their professional aptitude and skills.

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Peters Burton

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

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
West Building 2001
4400 University Dr.
MS 6D2
Fairfax, VA 22030


Dr. Peters Burtons 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. Her work has shown promise in demonstrating a connection between content knowledge and nature of science knowledge. She continues to develop research projects that investigate ways that students and teachers can utilize self-regulation not only to learn scientific knowledge but also to learn how scientific knowledge is developed and validated.

Research Interests

Dr. Peters Burtons 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 researching interventions that explictly teach science as a way of knowing, utilizing metacognitive prompts set in a self-regulatory delivery system and teacher implementation of such methods. Her research work examines the decisions students make when engaged in scientific inquiry and open-ended questioning, and how these decisions compare to decisions that scientists make in their work. Dr. Peters Burton and collaborators Dr. Sharon Lynch and Dr. Tara Behrend from George Washington University have recently been granted $2.8 million through the National Science Foundation to pursue the project, "Multiple Instrumental Case Studies of Inclusive STEM-focused High Schools: Opportunity Structures for Preparation and Inspiration (OSPrI)". She also works with pre-service and in-service teachers to learn more about how they might incorporate the nature of science more effectively into instruction. She is interested in developing student and teacher views of science as a way of knowing because it could help students who previously has not considered themselves "science-minded" think more deeply about science and perhaps consider scientific research as a career. Additionally, Dr. Peters Burton conducts research exploring cognition of scientific knowledge in different groups such as scientists, teachers, and students as well as cognition of scientific inquiry in game design.

Recent Publications

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

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

  • 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

  • Peters Burton, E. E., (2012). Learning Progressions in Instructional Design: Expectations and Practice of Scientists Becoming Teachers in the Preservice and First-Year Settings. Journal of the National Association for Alternative Certification, 7(2), 1-16.

  • Peters Burton, E. E., (2012). Using Metacognition to Develop Understanding of the Role of Evidence in Science. Science Scope, 35, (9), 14-19.

  • Peters Burton, E. E., & Frazier, W. (2012). Voices from the front lines: Alignment of reform documents and master teacher instruction. School Science and Mathematics Journal, 112, 179-190.

  • Peters, E. E. (2012). Developing content knowledge in students through explicit teaching of the nature of science: Influences of goal setting and self-monitoring. Science & Education, 21(6), 881-898.

  • Bell, R.L., Maeng, J.L., Peters, E.E., & Sterling, D.R. (in press). Teaching about scientific inquiry and the nature of science: Toward a more complete view of science. VMSC Journal of Mathematics and Science.

  • Garling, A. & Peters Burton, E. E. (2012). The nuts and bolts of enzymes. The Science Teacher, 79(5), 14-15.

  • Peters Burton, E. E., Frazier, W., Annetta, L., Lamb, R., Cheng, R., & Chmiel, M. (2011). Modeling augmented reality games with preservice elementary and secondary teachers. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 19(3), 303-329.

  • Peters, E. E. & Mattietti, G. K. (2011). Cognition and self-efficacy of stratigraphy and geologic time: Implications for improving undergraduate student performance in geological reasoning. Journal of Geoscience Education, 59, 1-12.

  • Martinez, M. & Peters Burton, E. E. (2011). Cognitive affordances of the cyberinfrastructure for science and math learning. Educational Media International, 48(1), 17-26.

  • Peters, E. E. & Kitsantas, A. (2010). The effect of nature of science metacognitive prompts on science students content and nature of science knowledge, metacognition, and self-regulatory efficacy. Journal of School Science and Math, 110, 382-396.

  • Martinez, P., Peters, E. E., Bannan, B., & Baek, J. (2010). Learning to observe in a geomorphological manner. Science Activities, 48, 13-22.

  • Peters Burton, E. E. (2010). Learning about the human aspect of the scientific enterprise: Gender differences in conceptions of scientific knowledge. Advancing Women in Leadership Journal, 30(12). Retrieved from Online

  • Bannan, B., Peters Burton, E. E. & Martinez, P. (2010). Mobile, Inquiry-based Learning and Geological Observation: An Exploratory Study. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 2(3), 13-29.

  • Peters Burton, E. E. (2010). Shifting to a student-centered science classroom: An exploration of teacher and student changes in perceptions and practices. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 21(3), 329-349.

  • Peters Burton, E. E. & Kitsantas, A. (2010). Self-regulation of student epistemic thinking in science: The role of metacognitive prompts. Educational Psychology, 30(1), 27-52.

Other Courses Taught