Dr. Peters Burtons research agenda is based in social justice and she pursues projects that help students who feel excluded in science classes become more aware of the scientific enterprise and how scientific knowledge is generated. She is interested in the nexus of the nature of science, self-regulated learning strategies, science teacher pedagogical content knowledge, and educational psychology.
She has been researching interventions that explicitly teach science as a way of knowing, utilizing metacognitive prompts set in a self-regulatory delivery system and teacher implementation of such methods. Her research work examines the decisions students make when engaged in scientific inquiry and open-ended questioning, and how these decisions compare to decisions that scientists make in their work. Dr. Peters Burton and collaborators Dr. Sharon Lynch and Dr. Tara Behrend from George Washington University have developed a logic model for the sustainability of Inclusive STEM High Schools from the NSF-funded work, "Multiple Instrumental Case Studies of Inclusive STEM-focused High Schools: Opportunity Structures for Preparation and Inspiration (OSPrI)". She also works with pre-service and in-service teachers to learn more about how they might incorporate the nature of science more effectively into instruction. She is interested in developing student and teacher views of science as a way of knowing because it could help students who previously has not considered themselves "science-minded" think more deeply about science and perhaps consider scientific research as a career.