Faculty Directory

Nathaniel Brown

Associate Research Professor

Department

MESA Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics & Assessment

Biography

Nathaniel Brown has geared his career toward changing the way we think about learning and accessing education. Specifically, his research explores learning assessment—reforming grading practices to establish formative classroom cultures, promote growth mindsets, chart clear paths for students and teachers, and support learning regardless of achievement level. His expertise spans cognitive development, STEM teaching and learning, and student motivation.

In addition to teaching at the Lynch School, Brown leads professional development workshops on learning assessment, most recently for the Emmaus Series at Boston College’s Roche Center for Catholic Education. He previously taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Indiana University Bloomington and the University of California Berkeley.

Among the publications to which he has contributed, a recent edited volume on a synthetic agenda for the learning sciences—which bridged the cognitive-situative divide—was considered a major contribution to the field. For the past three years, Brown has presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, of which he is a member. He also belongs to the International Society of the Learning Sciences and the American Educational Research Association.

Publications

Journal Articles

  • Brown, N. J. S., Afflerbach, P. P., & Croninger, R. G. (2014). Assessment of critical-analytic thinking. Educational Psychology Review, 26, 543-560.
  • Brown, N. J. S., & Wilson, M. (2011). A model of cognition: The missing cornerstone in assessment. Educational Psychology Review, 23, 221-234.
  • Brown, N. J. S., Furtak, E. M., Timms, M., Nagashima, S. O., & Wilson, M. (2010). The Evidence-Based Reasoning Framework: Assessing scientific reasoning. Educational Assessment, 15, 123-141.
  • Brown, N. J. S., Nagashima, S. O., Fu, A., Timms, M., & Wilson, M. (2010). A framework for analyzing scientific reasoning in assessments. Educational Assessment, 15, 142-174.

Edited Volumes

  • diSessa, A. A., Levin, M., & Brown, N. J. S. (Eds.). (2016). Knowledge and interaction: A synthetic agenda for the learning sciences. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Brown, N. J. S., Duckor, B., Draney, K., & Wilson, M. (Eds.). (2011). Advances in Rasch measurement (Vol. 2). Maple Grove, MN: JAM Press.

Book Chapters

  • Brown, N. J. S., Maderer, S. S., & Wood, J. (2016). Assessing physical and earth and space science in the context of the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards. In H. Braun (Ed.), Meeting the challenges to measurement in an era of accountability (pp. 349-386). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Brown, N. J. S., Danish, J. A., Levin, M., & diSessa, A. A. (2016). Competence reconceived: The shared enterprise of Knowledge Analysis and Interaction Analysis. In A. A. diSessa, M. Levin, & N. J. S. Brown (Eds.), Knowledge and interaction: A synthetic agenda for the learning sciences (pp. 11-29). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Brown, N. J. S. (2016). Feedback-relevant places: Interpreting shifts in explanatory narratives. In A. A. diSessa, M. Levin, & N. J. S. Brown (Eds.), Knowledge and interaction: A synthetic agenda for the learning sciences (pp. 403-425). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Brown, N. J. S., Dai, S., & Svetina, D. (2016). Analyzing NAEP data at the item level. In P. Kloosterman, D. Mohr, & C. Walcott (Eds.), What mathematics do students know and how is that knowledge changing? Evidence from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (pp. 33-44). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.
  • Brown, N. J. S., Svetina, D., & Dai, S. (2016). Analyzing NAEP data at the construct level. In P. Kloosterman, D. Mohr, & C. Walcott (Eds.), What mathematics do students know and how is that knowledge changing? Evidence from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (pp. 315-334). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.
  • Kloosterman, P., Walcott, C., Brown, N. J. S., et al. (2015). Using NAEP to analyze eighth-grade students’ ability to reason algebraically. In J. A. Middleton, J. Cai, & S. Hwang (Eds.), Large-scale studies in mathematics education (pp. 179-207). New York, NY: Springer.

Recent Grants

  • VideoReView: Support for Teachers’ Collection and Interpretation of Classroom Video to Improve Science Understanding and Argumentation. (NSF DRK-12: $2,296,031). S. Doubler (PI), S. Guler (co-PI), N. J. S. Brown (co-PI).
  • Focus on Energy: Preparing Elementary Teachers to Meet the NGSS Challenge. (NSF DRK-12: $1,999,836). S. Lacy (PI), N. J. S. Brown (co-PI), R. Tobin (co-PI).
  • Psychometric and Growth Modeling of Complex Patterns of Learning Resulting From the Interrelationships Between Multiple Learning Progressions. (NSF REESE: $951,997). N. J. S. Brown (PI).

Awards

  • Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellow, 2004—2005
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, 1999—2002
  • Winston Churchill Foundation Fellow, 1998—1999