Christopher Harris is a Senior Research Associate who serves as Director of Science and Engineering Education Research within WestEd’s Science and Engineering team. His research focuses on the design and study of instructional innovations that support science teaching and learning in PK–12 classrooms and informal settings.
Harris leads large-scale, multiyear, multi-institutional research, development, and evaluation projects and has helped develop scalable approaches to address the Next Generation Science Standards through curricula and assessments that help teachers make learning engaging, interactive, and accessible for students of diverse backgrounds and abilities. His research often involves collaborative work with districts and schools for the purpose of informing both research and practice. He has developed and led numerous professional development workshops for organizations such as the National Science Teachers Association, to help science teachers learn new standards and new models of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
Harris’s recent publications have addressed science curriculum and assessment, design-based implementation research, science teaching practice, educational innovation, and the role of project-based learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
Prior to joining WestEd, Harris was Director of Science and Engineering Education Research within the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International. Before then, he was an assistant professor of science education at the University of Arizona.
Harris completed his doctoral work at the University of Michigan, where he conducted learning sciences–based research within the Center for Highly Interactive Computing in Education. Harris began his career in education as an elementary school teacher.