As schools nationwide prepare for the new academic year, faculty researchers from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of education and human development are available for comment on a variety of education topics. Peabody is ranked among the top graduate schools of education in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Reporters may arrange interviews with these and other Peabody experts, by contacting Joan.firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (615) 322-NEWS.
Xiu Cravens has successfully implemented a teacher collaboration system in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and other Tennessee school systems, adapted from a highly effective approach used throughout Asia.
Rogers Hall studies math education, project-based pedagogy and the evolution of educational standards. He can discuss creative learning spaces and mobile learning labs.
Ilana Horn has published books on the topic of teacher collaboration regarding mathematics instruction. She also can discuss the nuances of standardized testing.
Bethany Rittle-Johnson can discuss how knowledge change occurs, particularly in mathematics.
She has conducted numerous studies on instructional models that improve math learning in young children.
Barbara Stengel is director of secondary education at Peabody and can discuss the current impact of Common Core on the way teachers teach among many other topics.
She is one of the founders of a “learning through practice” team-teaching program implemented in MNPS.
Marcy Singer Gabella can discuss 21st century teaching skills, teacher education and preparation, and teaching standards.
She also can speak on the new student teacher performance assessment edTPA.
They are finding that depressed mothers tend to produce depressed children, but that counseling interventions can stop the cycle of depression.
Laurie Cutting is an expert on reading disorders, including dyslexia, and has identified several lesser-known reading disorders through neuroimaging studies. Her research is focused on how the different regions of the brain communicate in order to read effectively.
Lynn S. Fuchs and Douglas Fuchs specialize in learning disabilities, particularly instruction for students at risk of school failure because of disability or poverty. They examine peer-to-peer learning strategies, testing, test bias and special education policy.
Ann Kaiser researches early interventions for children with language difficulties, including children with Down syndrome or autism. She can discuss the use of assistive technologies like iPads for language development.
Christopher Lemons is an expert on phonological awareness in children with Down syndrome. He is undergoing studies related to reading interventions.
Joe Wehby is an expert in children and youth with behavior disorders. He also examines problematic or aggressive behaviors in children and youth with special needs.
Paul Yoder researches communication, speech and language development and intervention in children with language delays. He is researching the role of short-term memory in learning in children with Down syndrome.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS
Deborah Rowe has extensive expertise in how young English language learners (ELL) draw on their first language when learning to write and speak English, and how they interact with teachers in an English-dominant environment.
Robert Jimenez and Lisa Pray lead Project Propel, which assists MNPS teachers in earning the ESL endorsement needed to work with Metro’s growing ELL population. They are developing instructional models to ensure that all children have the literacy skills needed for long-term success.
William R. Doyle investigates higher education public policy at both state and federal levels using insights from political science and economics to explore trends in financial aid, the politics of higher education and student access.
Brent Evans conducts quantitative research on higher education policy. He has used the tools of behavioral economics to suggest an alternative income-based model to provide support to students in paying for college.
Camilla Benbow and David Lubinski co-direct the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY), a longitudinal 50-year study that follows the lives of 5,000 gifted students. The study participants entered SMPY at age 13 and now have reached middle-age.
Donna Ford can discuss racial inequity in education, the underrepresentation of minorities in gifted programs, complex factors surrounding the achievement gaps, and the unique challenges faced by gifted minority students. She runs an online mentoring community for doctoral students of color.
Ebony McGee is an expert on the barriers people of color have in pursuing careers and academic posts in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
She examines systemic, family and cultural challenges and is involved with mentorship interventions.
She has studied racial micro-aggressions academics experience when presenting their research findings.
Tamra Stambaugh is the director of Vanderbilt’s Programs for Talented Youth and can speak on promising low-income students, the impact of accelerated curriculum on student achievement, teacher effectiveness and talent development factors.
PRE-K AND KINDERGARTEN
David Dickinson is an expert on the interaction between language and early literacy development. He is developing an intervention designed to help preschool teachers teach vocabulary reading through teacher-supported play.
Mimi Engel has conducted research that finds kindergarten may be too easy. She asserts that kindergarten should be more challenging, or students risk “pre-K fadeout.”
This landmark study, which has identified the barriers to scaling up effective pre-K in Tennessee, offers potential policy implications nationwide.
Georgene Troseth and doctoral student Colleen Russo study how touch screens affect learning in young children. They can offer advice on screentime limits and choosing the best games and apps for children.
Angela Boatman is an expert on the Tennessee Promise community college program. She can speak about new approaches to remedial assessment, placement and instruction, and how to improve post-secondary college readiness.
Marisa Cannata is focused on what makes an effective high school. She can discuss school choices such as charter schools and magnets, and the nuances of the TCAP and other standardized tests. She also can discuss education policy and teacher evaluation data.
Ellen Goldring is an expert on school improvement, with particular emphases on school organization, school choice and education leadership, including principal evaluation. As head of the Leadership, Policy and Organizations department, her research includes studies of magnet schools, access and equity of parent choice plans and policy implications.
Claire Smrekar provides expert analysis on the social and policy context of school choice: how parents choose and why and how charter schools, magnet schools and voucher programs shape parents’ choice patterns.
She has been highly involved with the Nashville Next initiative, and has expertise on socioeconomic diversity in MNPS.
Ron Zimmer is an expert on school choice and school improvement. His research is focused on evaluations of charter schools, turnover and closure of low-performing schools and the use of school choice and supplemental educational service options under No Child Left Behind.
SCHOOL VIOLENCE, BULLYING, SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Andy Finch is an expert on substance abuse and the formation of “recovery high schools,” schools for teens who want to finish their education while overcoming substance abuse. He was honored by the White House this year for his research and for making a difference on the war on drugs.
Maury Nation’s research focuses on understanding and preventing violence and bullying among school-age children. His specific interests are bully and victim typologies, and the short- and long-term consequences of peer harassment. He is director of Safe and Supportive Schools Tennessee.
Emily Tanner-Smith has conducted research on school surveillance, juvenile delinquency, recidivism rates and substance abuse. She also has evaluated programs for at-risk youth and can discuss reform and policy implications.
Dale Ballou is an authority on the use of value-added models to evaluate teachers and schools. He studies the role of regulations in the training, recruitment and retention of effective teachers.
Jason Grissom examines key predictors, causes and consequences of school personnel retention and turnover. He has examined if principals should be evaluated based on student test scores, and if teacher effectiveness data are being used properly.
Gary T. Henry is a nationally recognized expert on education policy, educational evaluation and teacher quality.
He also has studied teacher and student mobility in Tennessee’s Achievement School District.
Matthew Springer is an expert on educator incentive pay programs and educational accountability. His research reveals that teacher retention bonuses in low-performing Tennessee schools have been cost effective.