After graduating cum laude from Duke University with a B.A. in Public Policy Studies in 1994, Jonathan Becker received a law degree and a masters degree in curriculum and instruction from Boston College Law School and the Boston College Graduate School of Education in 1997. Additionally, in May of 2003. Jonathan earned a Ph.D. in the Politics of Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Prior to beginning his professorial career, Jonathan served as Research Director at Interactive, Inc., an educational research and consulting company. In his capacity at Interactive, Inc., Jonathan directed and was involved in a number of research projects focused mostly on the achievement and equity effects of educational technology. Framed largely as mixed-methods evaluation research, these studies ranged from small-scale studies of school-based programs to federally funded statewide evaluations. As a principal investigator in a federally-funded study, Jonathan pioneered the use of novel data collection techniques including the use of desktop monitoring software to gauge file activity on classroom-based computers.
From September 2002 to August 2007, Jonathan was an assistant professor in the Department of Foundations, Leadership and Policy Studies in the School of Education and Allied Human Services at Hofstra University. In September 2007, Jonathan became an assistant professor in the Educational Leadership Department at Virginia Commonwealth University, Jonathan where he taught courses in school law, the politics of education, educational technology and school leadership, and educational research methods.
At Virginia Commonwealth University, Jonathan served as the evaluator of a multi-million dollar, multi-year grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. That program involved the development and implementation of an innovative school leadership certification program in partnership with the Richmond (VA) Public Schools, including the design and testing of an interactive, computer-based educational leadership simulation. Jonathan also served as a co-investigator of an NSF-funded grant targeted at research and development of science curriculum modules for students in underserved areas. In partnership with the City College of New York (CCNY) and the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), Jonathan coordinated the field testing of the curriculum by approximately 60 teachers in nearly 30 New York City high schools.