Brian DraytonCo-Director, Center for School Reform 
617 873-9627

Program/Areas of Interest

Inquiry in science; Electronic communities; Teacher change; Ecology and life science curriculum; Discourse analysis; Public understanding of science

Biographical Summary

I have been at TERC since 1986 (with a 4-month hiatus in 1988), working on a wide range of projects, primarily in the following fields:

  • Research: (in projects such as The Inquiry-Based Science Classroom in ContextResearching Science in the Wireless High SchoolUnder the Microscope)
  • Curriculum development: (Biocomplexity and the Habitable PlanetGlobal LabThe Ecology CurriculumAstrobiologyStar SchoolsMBL)
  • Teacher Professional Development: (Hands-On Elementary ScienceTeacher Enhancement in Pedagogy through Ecology (TEPE), Lab-net)
  • Electronic communities: (Lab-netLSC-NetGlobal LabEyes to the FutureMSPNet and IGERT Resource Center)

Before coming to TERC, I worked as a freelance editor, ran a rest home for 3 years, and worked in the customer education department of LISP Machine, Inc. I have a Ph.D. in Plant Ecology, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in linguistics. I am married to Darcy Drayton, an artist; we have two grown sons.

Selected Publications

  • Primack, R.B., A.J. Miller-Rushing, and B. Drayton. 2014. Reply to Angelo: Declines in species in Thoreau’s Concord and the Middlesex Fells, Massachusetts, USA. Phytoneuron 2014-61: 1–5.
  • Stroud, R., B. Drayton, J Falk (2014) Interactive Whiteboard Use in High-Tech Science Classrooms: Technology Adoption and Integration. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Education. 9(9).
  • Puttick, G., B. Drayton, and E. Cohen (2015) A study of the literature on lab-based instruction in Biology. American Biology Teacher 77 (1): 12-18
  • Drayton, B., G. Puttick, A. Drayton, T Lloyd-Evans (2015) Co-inventing the Climate Lab: First lessons from an innovative partnership. Hands On! Spring 2015, pp. 3-5.
  • Puttick, G., B. Drayton, and J. Karp (2015). Digital curriculum in the classroom: Authority, control, and teacher role. International Journal on Emerging Technologies in Learning. 10 (6):11-20.
  • Drayton, B. (2015a) Discourse analysis of comments on a climate change op-ed. Part 2. Working Papers from the Life Sciences Initiative. Cambridge, MA: TERC.
  • Drayton, B. ( 2015b) Interrogating and Reconstructing Practice. Section ii: Present:Within institutions, Introduction. In Eryaman, M.Y. & Bruce, B. C., eds., Handbook of Progressive Education. New York: Peter Lang. pp 231-238
  • Drayton, B. (2016a) Review: Dale Stokes, The fish in the forest: Salmon and the web of life. Biological Conservation , p. 36. DOI information: 10.1016/j.biocon.2015.11.011
  • Drayton, B, T. Lloyd-Evans, G. Puttick, E. Dalton, and A. Drayton (2016) Mechanisms for the mutual appropriation of goals in a partnership between educators and a field research station: boundaries and boundary objects. Presented at the North American Congress for Conservation Biology, Madison, WI, July 2016.
  • Drayton, B. and G. Puttick (2016b) Digital design of "smart images": A design story. Educational Designer. 3:9.
  • Bernstein, D., B. Drayton, S. McKenney, and C. Schunn (2016) Designing Science Curriculum for Implementation at Scale: Considerations for Diverse and Resource-Limited Settings. Proceedings of the ICLS 2016, Singapore: pp 886-889.
  • Puttick, G. and B. Drayton (2017) Biocomplexity: Aligning an "NGSS-ready" curriculum with NGSS performance expectations. American Biology Teacher Vol. 79, No 5, pages. 344–349.
  • Drayton, B. (2017) Teacher knowing: Reflections on a student-teacher dialogue and implications for professional development. Cambridge, MA: TERC Working Paper.\\
  • Puttick, G., B. Drayton, and A.G. Drayton (2017) Innovate to Mitigate: Science Learning in an Open-innovation Challenge for High School Students. Sustainability in Environment Vol. 2, No. 4, 2017. URL:
  • Drayton, B., and G. Puttick (2018) Innovate to Mitigate: Learning as activity in a team of high school students addressing a climate mitigation challenge. Sustainability in Environment 3(1). URL:
  • Bopardikar, A., D. Bernstein, B. Drayton, and S. McKenney (2018) Work-based curriculum to broaden learners' participation in science: Insights for designers. Research in Science Education.