David Beer is Co-Director of School Support Services at CEMSE, and PI of the National Science Foundation-funded project, "Virtual Learning Communities: An Online Professional Development Resource for STEM Teachers" (NSF #1020083). The VLC project involves the development of a virtual community of elementary school teachers who communicate with one another about a rich set of learning objects posted on the web including classroom video, planning forms, and related documents about the learning objects and about issues in teaching mathematics of interest to them. Beer's work in school support services involves developing and deploying web-based and in-person professional development to elementary school teachers who use inquiry-based mathematics and science instructional materials. From 2003-2008 he provided strategic consulting support to the New York City Department of Education as it implemented Everyday Mathematics. He has also conducted evaluations of various formal and informal educational interventions including: Science, Engineering and Technology for Students, Educators and Parents (SETSEP), Developing 21st Century Thinking Skills, Yerkes Astrophysics Academy for Young Scientists (YAAYS); directed survey studies of mathematics teaching, learning, professional development, and curriculum use in the U.S., in Chicago, and in New York City; and conducted curriculum research about Everyday Mathematics. Beer also was co-team leader of the Early Childhood team for the 3rd Edition of Everyday Mathematics.
Prior to joining CEMSE, Beer was Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He taught occupational and physical therapy students, trained graduate students in qualitative research, evaluated human service, early childhood, and elementary school interventions, and published articles and chapters on evaluation, the experience of illness and disability, and qualitative research methods. From 1984 until 1991, Beer was Research Associate at the Erikson Institute, where he taught, conducted various evaluation research projects concerning pre-primary and primary school education and human service delivery, and helped author What Children Can Tell Us (Garbarino et al, 1987). Beer was trained as a cultural anthropologist at the University of Chicago.