Mary Burns is an internationally recognized expert in teacher professional development, technology planning, online learning, and instructional design.

During her 30-year career in education, Burns has supported numerous effective, evidence-based school reform efforts in multiple settings around the world, including migrant communities, inner-city schools, ministries of education, and universities in the United States, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. She counts the creation of Indonesia’s first coaching program to help teachers integrate technology in instruction and the design and adoption of Lebanon’s first national educational technology plan among her signature accomplishments.

Burns has coauthored four books and more than 100 articles, book chapters, and monographs on technology-embedded teacher professional development. She is a monthly contributor to the Global Partnership for Education blog.

A former teacher and school-based coach, Burns holds a BA in international relations and romance languages from Boston College, an MS in urban planning, an MA in Latin American studies from the University of Texas in Austin, and an EdM from Harvard University. She speaks French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

“Certainly, it is now more true than ever that the world’s poorest children deserve the world’s best teachers.”

Speaking Highlights

The Teachers We Need and the Professional Development They Deserve
Invited speaker, UNESCO Teachers Task Force Education for All, 8th Policy Dialogue Forum
Mexico City, Mexico
2016
XV Encuentro Internacional Virtual Educación, Organization of American States
Lima, Peru
2014
But Will It Help My Students Learn? Pathway to Technology in the Classroom
Keynote speaker, American University of Beirut Conference on Effective Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
Lebanon
2012
Teacher-Centered Professional Development
Spotlight speaker, World Innovation Summit for Education
Doha, Qatar
2012
Great Expectations? Considerations on 1:1 Laptops Programs in Three US States
Keynote speaker, Expanding Learning Horizons-21st Century Learning
Lorne, Australia
2008

Media

Blog Posts

Fixing the Problems of Teaching by Leaving the Teachers Behind
Global Partnership for Education, October 26, 2015

A Tale of Two Teachers
Global Partnership for Education, May 27, 2014

The Myths of Scaling Up
Global Partnership for Education, January 14, 2014

TPD in Crisis Series: How Can We Begin to Move Forward?
Interagency Network for Education in Emergencies, February 3, 2013

Selected Publications

Burns, M., & Lawrie, J. (Eds.) (2015, January). Where it matters most: Quality professional development for all teachers. New York, NY: Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies. 

Burns, M. (2013, December). Staying or leaving? Designing for persistence in an online educator training program in Indonesia. Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, 28(2), 141-152.

Burns, M. (2011). Distance education for teacher training: Modes, models and methods. Washington, DC: Education Development Center, Inc.

Burns, M. (2006, January). Tools for the mind. Educational Leadership, 63(4) 48-53.

Selected Resources

Website
EDC’s Proyecto METAS conducted a survey in three at-risk urban communities in Honduras between March and May 2013.