Robert C. Pianta, PhD

Robert C. Pianta, PhD

Dean, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

Bob Pianta is the Dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, the Novartis Professor of Education, Professor of Psychology, and the director of UVa’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning. Dean Pianta and his education research team have proven what it takes to build better teachers. With more than $50 million in grant funding, his team has developed a system to both assess and improve a teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom. The Classroom Assessment Scoring System or CLASS is an observational measure that has been tested and proven effective in several large national studies and is being utilized by every Head Start program in the country, touching 50,000 teachers and over a half million students. Having earned a B.S. and an M.A. in Special Education from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Bob began his career as a special education teacher. He joined the Curry faculty in 1986 and began his appointment as dean in 2007. Bob’s work has been nationally recognized by Andrea Mitchell of NBC Nightly News, Jay Mathews of the Washington Post, and best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell, and he was asked to provide recommendations public education to the Obama Presidential Transition Team. In his recommendations he wrote, “Good teachers are key. If we want to improve our students’ learning, we need to improve the quality of teachers and of teaching.”

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