James B. Short is a former science teacher who taught high school biology for ten years using research-based instructional materials. He has been involved in education for over thirty years with an ongoing focus on the role of curriculum and professional learning in teacher development. At BSCS Science Learning, he directed a national science curriculum and implementation center and led the development of the National Academy for Curriculum Leadership, working with district leadership teams around the country on the selection, adoption, and implementation of high-quality instructional materials. The three-year academy in curriculum leadership provided tools and processes for analyzing curricula and designing professional learning to support implementation. In Denver Public Schools he led the redesign of the K-12 science program with the adoption and district-wide implementation of new inquiry-based curricula. At the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, he was the founding director of the Gottesman Center for Science Teaching and Learning. He led the Museum’s efforts to strengthen science education programs at museums, nonprofit organizations, schools, and systems, including the New York City Department of Education. He oversaw the design and implementation of the Urban Advantage initiative in New York City, a partnership program in nearly half of the City’s middle schools, supporting inquiry-based learning and teaching. He was on the faculty of the Museum’s Mater of Arts in Teaching Program, a first-of-its kind urban teacher residency program for developing certified Earth Science teachers and taught courses in curriculum and teaching. More recently he taught science education courses in the mid-career doctoral program in Educational Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.
James is currently the program director for Leadership and Teaching to Advance Learning in the Education Program at Carnegie Corporation of New York. His work at the foundation focuses on building capacity of teachers, principals, and system leaders to implement college and career-ready standards in language arts and reading, mathematics and science. The portfolio invests in the development of high-quality instructional materials and curriculum-based professional learning for teachers and instructional leaders. Building on the foundation’s support for new science standards, the Corporation launched OpenSciEd in 2018 partnering with ten states to improve the supply of and demand for high-quality science instructional materials and curriculum-based professional learning. In 2020, Short co-authored with Stephanie Hirsh, The Elements: Transforming Teaching through Curriculum-Based Professional Learning.
James earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Rhodes College, a Master’s in science education from Peabody College for Teachers at Vanderbilt University and a doctorate in education with a focus on curriculum and instruction from Teachers College at Columbia University.