Dean’s Message

Dean BenbowVanderbilt’s Peabody College begins the 2013–14 academic year with nearly a dozen new faculty members, 400 new master’s degree or Ed.D. students, and 35 new Ph.D. students—not to mention our usual complement of highly qualified undergraduates. We are excited!

Our enthusiasm is also prompted by the establishment of a new Accelerated Academic Achievement (A3) Center funded by a $10 million, five-year grant from the National Center for Special Education Research. Dedicated to developing new interventions for children with learning disabilities, the center’s work will have implications for Response to Intervention as well as for helping struggling children learn under the Common Core State Standards.

With the Obama administration advocating for expanded preschool programs for disadvantaged children, the need for evidence on state-funded pre-K is greater than ever. I am pleased that Peabody faculty members continue to offer findings with the potential to improve curriculum and teaching practice and to benefit children whose language at home is not English.

Peabody faculty members also continue a variety of studies intended to improve school leadership—by using data to inform decisions, improving hiring practices to recruit strong teachers to underachieving schools, or learning new teacher professional development practices from peers in Shanghai. Our efforts in higher education leadership continue, as well.

These pursuits are highlighted in this issue of Ideas in Action, although there is much else that could be said. We look forward to sharing more information with you online and elsewhere.

Camilla P. Benbow
Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development