Bio


Dr. Barron is a developmental psychologist who studies processes of collaborative learning in and out of school. Her research investigates interest-driven learning with a focus on how digital technologies can serve as catalysts for collaborative learning across home, school, and community settings with the goal of creating more equitable opportunities for the development of expertise. The theoretical goal of this work is to articulate conditions that lead to the diversification of a child's learning ecology through increasing activity in learning activities across settings. Current projects include the longitudinal documentation of learner pathways to engagement, studies of families as technology-supported learning teams, and the roles that personal learning networks play in catalyzing and sustaining interest-driven learning She is founder of the YouthLAB at Stanford, and a co-lead of TELOS, a Stanford Graduate School of Education Initiative to investigate how technologies can provide more equitable access to learning opportunities. She was a lead researcher in the NSF-funded LIFE Center (Learning in Informal and Formal Environments), investigating the social foundations of learning across diverse communities, contexts, and domains.

Academic Appointments


Administrative Appointments


  • Professor, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University (1996 - Present)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of the Learning Sciences (2011 - 2003)
  • Instructor, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University (1992 - 1993)
  • Senior Research Associate, Learning Technology Center, Vanderbilt University (1992 - 1995)

Professional Education


  • BS, University of California at Santa Cruz, Psychology (1984)
  • MA, Vanderbilt University, Psychology (1989)
  • PhD, Vanderbilt University, Clinical and Developmental Psychology (1992)

Research Interests


  • Child Development
  • Collaborative Learning
  • Diversity and Identity
  • Equity in education
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Parents and family issues
  • Poverty and Inequality
  • School Reform
  • Technology and Education

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Current projects include the longitudinal documentation of learner pathways to engagement, studies of families as technology-supported learning teams, and the roles that personal learning networks play in catalyzing and sustaining interest-driven learning She is founder of the YouthLAB at Stanford, and a co-lead of TELOS, a Stanford Graduate School of Education Initiative to investigate how technologies can provide more equitable access to learning opportunities.

Stanford Advisees


  • Doctoral Dissertation Reader (AC)
    Stephanie Rafanelli
  • Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)
    Veronica Lin, Chris Proctor, Kathleen (Katie) Remington
  • Master's Program Advisor
    Lauren Beaton, Mathieu Penot, Irina Sthapit, Kavindya Thennakoon, Kate Whitney
  • Doctoral Dissertation Co-Advisor (AC)
    Aekta Shah
  • Doctoral (Program)
    Cindy Lam, Veronica Lin, Judy Nguyen, Rose Pozos, Chris Proctor, Kathleen (Katie) Remington, Brandon Reynante, Aekta Shah

All Publications


  • Latino immigrant families learning with digital media across settings and generations DIGITAL EDUCATION REVIEW Levinson, A., Barron, B. 2018: 150–69
  • Conducting Video Research in the Learning Sciences: Guidance on Selection, Analysis, Technology, and Ethics JOURNAL OF THE LEARNING SCIENCES Derry, S. J., Pea, R. D., Barron, B., Engle, R. A., Erickson, F., Goldman, R., Hall, R., Koschmann, T., Lemke, J. L., Sherin, M. G., Sherin, B. L. 2010; 19 (1): 3-53
  • Predictors of creative computing participation and profiles of experience in two Silicon Valley middle schools COMPUTERS & EDUCATION Barron, B., Walter, S. E., Martin, C. K., Schatz, C. 2010; 54 (1): 178-189
  • A CULTURE OF SHARING A Look at Identity Development Through the Creation and Presentation of Digital Media Projects 1st International Conference on Computer Supported Education Martin, C. K., Barron, B., Austin, K., Pinkard, N. INSTICC-INST SYST TECHNOLOGIES INFORMATION CONTROL & COMMUNICATION. 2009: 167–174
  • Parents as learning partners in the development of technological fluency International Journal of Learning Media Barron, B., Martin, C. K., Takeuchi, L., Fithian, R. 2009
  • Staying the course with video analysis Video research in the learning sciences Goldman, S., McDermott, R. 2007: 101-113
  • Sparking self-sustained learning: report on a design experiment to build technological fluency and bridge divides International Conference on Technology Education in the Asia Pacific Region (ICTE) Barron, B., Martin, C. K., Roberts, E. SPRINGER. 2007: 75–105
  • Images of self and others as computer users: the role of gender and experience JOURNAL OF COMPUTER ASSISTED LEARNING Mercier, E. M., Barron, B., O'Connor, K. M. 2006; 22 (5): 335-348
  • Interest and self-sustained learning as catalysts of development: A learning ecology perspective HUMAN DEVELOPMENT Barron, B. 2006; 49 (4): 193-224

    View details for DOI 10.1159/000094368

    View details for Web of Science ID 000241280600001

  • Design theories of interest, motivation, and engagement for the learning sciences 6th International Conference of the Learning Sciences Hickey, D. T., Barron, B., Azevedo, F. S., Joseph, D., Edelson, D. LAWRENCE ERLBAUM ASSOC PUBL. 2004: 8–11
  • Equity and the development of technological fluency 6th International Conference of the Learning Sciences Barron, B., Tackman, J., Martin, C., Mercier, E., Johri, A., Johnson, Z., Wise, S., White, M., McPhee, S., Worth, P. LAWRENCE ERLBAUM ASSOC PUBL. 2004: 585–585
  • Learning ecologies for technological fluency: Gender and experience differences Journal of Educational Computing Research Barron, B. 2004; 31 (1): 1-36
  • When smart groups fail JOURNAL OF THE LEARNING SCIENCES Barron, B. 2003; 12 (3): 307-359
  • Creative work in relational context and its developmental significance HUMAN DEVELOPMENT Barron, B. 2002; 45 (5): 367-371
  • Problem solving in video-based microworlds: Collaborative and individual outcomes of high-achieving sixth-grade students JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY Barron, B. 2000; 92 (2): 391-398
  • Achieving coordination in collaborative problem-solving groups JOURNAL OF THE LEARNING SCIENCES Barron, B. 2000; 9 (4): 403-436
  • Doing with understanding: Lessons from research on problem- and project-based learning JOURNAL OF THE LEARNING SCIENCES Barron, B. J., Schwartz, D. L., Vye, N. J., Moore, A., Petrosino, A., ZECH, L., Bransford, J. D. 1998; 7 (3-4): 271-311
  • A THROWER-BUTTON OR A BUTTON-THROWER - CHILDRENS JUDGMENTS OF GRAMMATICAL AND UNGRAMMATICAL COMPOUND NOUNS LINGUISTICS Clark, E. V., BARRON, B. J. 1988; 26 (1): 3-19