Robert Pianta, Ph.D. is the Dean of the Curry School of Education, Novartis US Foundation Professor of Education, and Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. He is also founding director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning. Pianta's research and policy interests focus on the measurement and production of effective teaching in classrooms from preschool to high school. Pianta has authored more than 200 scholarly papers and several influential books related to teaching and the intersection of education and human development. He has been a principal investigator on grants and projects totaling over $50 million in sponsored support. He is past Editor of The Journal of School Psychology and associate editor for the new journal AERA Open.
Pianta’s assessments of teacher-student interaction, the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (TM) or CLASS (TM) are widely used in research and in a number of at-scale applications in the U.S. and internationally. His recent work on improvement of teacher-student interactions, including the development of the professional development supports called MyTeachingPartner (TM), has implications for teacher preparation and workforce development.
After receiving a B.S. and M.A. in Special Education from the University of Connecticut, Pianta began his career as a special education teacher. Upon completing a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, he joined the University of Virginia faculty in 1986. A nationally recognized expert in both early childhood education and k-12 teaching and learning, Pianta regularly consults with federal agencies, foundations, and universities, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation, and the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.