2019-2020 Luce Scholar

Adam Barton is an educational researcher who works with schools and systems around the world to create evidence-based, community-driven learning experiences. Adam believes that high-quality learning must also advance equity and ensure learners are prepared to thrive in an uncertain world. Values-based, participatory research and design are central to his programming philosophy. Adam currently directs programs and partnerships for a young educational nonprofit in Columbia, Maryland. Using participatory design principles, he works with school communities to develop global citizenship and leadership learning opportunities. He also leads the nonprofit’s impact and outreach strategies, having grown it from a small scholarship program to an organization now serving dozens of schools yearly. Adam most recently served as a junior researcher at the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. There, he conducted research and advised global policy leaders on the potential of education innovations. Studying nearly 3,000 programs, policies, and products from around the world, he helped develop a theoretical framework for making nonlinear progress in educational development. He recently co-authored a book on the topic, Leapfrogging Inequality. Adam has worked extensively in South America. As a Princeton in Latin America fellow, he led the first impact evaluation of an agrarian university in rural Bolivia. He also spent a combined total of two years in Brazil. Beginning as a public school English teacher in Valinhos, São Paulo, he came to re-found and direct Learning Enterprises – Brazil, an English program that trains American volunteers to serve thousands of Brazilian students each year. Additionally, he conducted ethnographic research on community conceptions of extended day programming and faith-based community health education. Adam spent his undergraduate career serving English language learners in Washington, DC. As a coordinator for the DC Schools Project, he trained and managed dozens of tutors as they supported recently-arrived language learners and their families. He also founded an ESL tutoring program at his childhood school in Maryland. Adam graduated as valedictorian of Georgetown University with a bachelor’s in Spanish & Portuguese Studies and Education, Inquiry, & Justice.