Dean Pianta Named to National Academy of Education

Audrey Breen

Robert C. Pianta, dean of the UVA School of Education and Human Development, has been named to the National Academy of Education.

Robert C. Pianta, dean of the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development, has been named to the National Academy of Education. Pianta, who is the Novartis US Foundation Professor of Education, Professor of Psychology, and founding director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning at the University of Virginia, was elected to the Academy this month.

According to the Academy, Pianta was elected alongside 21 other “exceptional education scholars” who “are leading researchers and educators with wide ranging expertise.”

UVA Provost Liz Magill said this recognition was, “a great honor not only for Bob, but also for the school and UVA. In his thirteen years as Dean at the School of Education and Human Development, Bob has had significant and wide-ranging impact on the field of education, mentoring hundreds if not thousands of educators and influencing the lives of millions of students.  I am thrilled to see his many accomplishments and contributions honored in this way.”

Members of the Academy are nominated and elected annually on the basis of their outstanding scholarship in the field of education.

“It truly is an honor to join such a distinguished group of colleagues,” Pianta said. “The Academy plays a unique role in advancing education science and the impact that research can have on such a large sector of society. I appreciate that the membership includes a wide range of disciplines working on problems in education and on building capacity for education research more broadly.” 

Recently, Pianta said, he has been thinking more on how research strategies and programs can have a greater and more constructive influence on public education, something he feels aligns well within the Academy’s work. 

Pianta joined the UVA faculty in 1986, founded the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning in 2005 and has served as dean of the School of Education and Human Development since 2007. Pianta‘s research and policy interests focus on the intersection of education and human development.

In particular his career has advanced the understanding and measurement of teacher-student relationships and documented their contributions to students’ learning and development. Pianta has led the research and development of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System measurement tool and accompanying MyTeachingPartner intervention that help teachers interact with students more effectively. His tools and interventions are used widely in the United States and around the world.

“Bob Pianta is an exceptional leader, scholar, teacher, mentor, and colleague,” said James Ryan, president of the University of Virginia. “His innovative and influential work in understanding and improving teacher-student relationships has touched the lives of countless students around the world. Bob’s election to the National Academy of Education is well-earned, and I congratulate him on this high honor.”

In a press release, Gloria Ladson-Billings, president of the National Academy of Education, spoke to the breadth of scholarship represented in the recently elected members.

“This diverse group of scholars is at the forefront of those who are improving the lives of students in the United States and abroad through their outstanding contributions to education scholarship and research,” Ladson-Billings said.

Pianta will join the other new members in an induction ceremony this fall during the 2021 National Academy of Education Annual Meeting.