Brian J. Reiser is professor of learning sciences in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. Reiser’s research examines how to make scientific practices such as argumentation, explanation, and modeling meaningful and effective for classroom teachers and students. This design research investigates the cognitive and social interaction elements of learning environments supporting scientific practices and design principles for technology-infused curricula that embed science learning in investigations of contextualized data-rich problems. He leads the MoDeLS project (Modeling Designs for Learning Science) to develop an empirically based learning progression for the practice of scientific modeling, and BGuILE (Biology Guided Inquiry Learning Environments), developing software tools for supporting students in analyzing biological data and constructing explanations. Reiser is also on the leadership team for IQWST (Investigating and Questioning our World through Science and Technology), a collaboration with the University of Michigan developing a middle school project-based science curriculum.
Reiser was a founding member of the first graduate program in Learning Sciences, created at Northwestern, and chaired the program from 1993, shortly after its inception, until 2001. He was co-principal investigator in the NSF Center for Curriculum Materials in Science, exploring the design and enactment of science curriculum materials, and served on the National Research Council’s panel authoring the report Taking Science to School and the editorial boards of Science Education and The Journal of the Learning Sciences.