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Director of Science and Engineering Education Research, Center for Technology in Learning
Christopher Harris, Ph.D., is director of research for science and engineering education within SRI International’s Center for Technology in Learning. His research focuses on the design, implementation, and study of STEM instructional innovations in K-12 classrooms and informal learning contexts. Of central interest is the design and research of curricula and assessments that capitalize on innovative technologies, align with the shifting policy context in science and engineering education, and make learning accessible for students of diverse backgrounds and abilities.
At SRI, he conducts large-scale multiyear, multi-institutional research and development projects and has been involved in developing scalable approaches to addressing new standards in science and engineering through curricula and assessments that help teachers engage their students in ambitious learning. His research often involves collaborative work in real-world educational settings for the purpose of informing both research and practice. In this work, Harris leverages strategic partnerships with education agencies, foundations, corporate partners, academic institutions and nonprofit organizations to improve science and engineering education in a wide range of settings. Harris’ recent publications have addressed science education policy, instructionally supportive assessment, design-based implementation research, science teaching practice, and authenticity in science education.
Prior to his role as a research area director, Harris held researcher and senior researcher positions in science education at SRI. Before joining SRI, Harris was an assistant professor of science education at the University of Arizona where he co-led the science education doctoral program. He completed his graduate work at the University of Michigan, where he conducted learning sciences-based research within the Center for Highly Interactive Computing in Education, an interdisciplinary team of people dedicated to designing innovative, yet practical, curricula and educational technologies for diverse, urban school settings. Harris began his career in education as an elementary school teacher and taught in schools in Hawaii and Northern California.