Research Questions

What is Involved in Teaching?
How can Teacher Education Help?
How Can Professional Development Help?
How Can Policy Help?
How Can Research Help?
How can we Improve Research?

Research Projects

Teacher Qualifications and the Quality of Teaching
Class Acts
Research and Teacher Learning
National Center for Research on Teacher Learning
Teacher Education and Learning to Teach
Local Uses of Evidence
Evaluations of Federal Programs


Michigan State University
College of Education
Graduate Program in Teacher Education
National Center for Research on Teacher Learning






I am a professor emeritus in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University. I came to MSU in 1986 to direct the National Center for Research on Teacher Learning. Since that time, I have been interested in questions about the nature of teaching and how external events--things like teacher education programs, policies and research--can or do influence teaching. I have organized this web page around these questions, and mainly provide readers with synopses of my research projects and of the research articles and books I have published related to these questions.

Before coming to MSU, I was engaged in a variety of program evaluation and policy analysis activities at both the state and federal level, and have included a small sampling of that early work here as well.


Recent and Popular Work

(2007) Defining a literature

(2009) Against boldness

(2009) Education Week Commentary on Reform with reader responses

(2010) Attribution error and the quest for teacher quality

(2015) Blog on Reform

(2016) Parcing Teaching Practice and an associated interview

(in press) How does professional development foster teacher learning?

(In progress and very draftie) How we learn about teaching. ( if you have thoughts about this issue, or this paper, I'd like to hear them.

Other stuff I do:


Digital Advisor-- Advice for doctoral students in education

Photography Slide shows

(Note: I have learned how to make slide shows but not how to make them stop, so when the pictures stop changing, hit your escape key to get out of the slide show)

Photography--An alphabetic list of cool stuff at Michigan State
Dangerous toys
How cattle can be moved to prettier settings
How colors can be altered on a rusty bus
How a hole in the snow can surprise you