New endowed professorship awarded to Peabody professor

Paul Cobb, professor of education at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of education and human development, is the first recipient of a new endowed faculty chair, the Peabody Chair in Teaching and Learning. Cobb will receive the new title during Homecoming festivities on Friday, Oct. 12.

The Peabody Chair was made possible by a challenge grant from J.E. Reeves, Jr., chairman and chief executive of The Reeves Foundation. Reeves is the father of a former Peabody student, Katherine “Mercer” Reeves, B.S.’92, M.Ed.’93. His gift was matched by two anonymous donors. Endowed chairs are an important tool for colleges and universities to recruit and retain top faculty.

“Paul Cobb is one of Peabody’s most prolific and respected faculty members,” said Camilla P. Benbow, Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development. “His work on instructional design to support mathematics learning is highly influential. This is an honor he richly deserves.”

Cobb’s research focuses on mathematical learning in elementary students and on middle school statistics. His studies emphasize the social nature of learning and the classroom and organizational supports required to strengthen mathematics teaching and student achievement. He has received more than $8.8 million in external funding for his research, and authored or coauthored seven books and numerous journal articles.

A faculty member at Peabody since 1992, Cobb is an elected member of the prestigious National Academy of Education. The academy consists of up to 150 members who are elected on the basis of outstanding scholarship or outstanding contributions to education.

In 2005, he was awarded the Hans Freudenthal Medal from the International Commission on Mathematics Instruction. The medal honored the cumulative impact of his research.

Cobb is also an invited fellow of the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences. In addition to his position at Vanderbilt Peabody, he serves as adjunct professor of education at Southern Cross University, Lismore, Australia.

The Peabody Chair in Teaching and Learning is the twelfth chair funded at Peabody during Vanderbilt’s current Shape the Future capital campaign.

Cobb earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Bristol in England and his master’s and doctorate in mathematics education from the University of Georgia.

Contact: Melanie Moran, (615) 322-NEWS

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