Pamela Grossman Picked for 2015 Pomeroy Award

AACTE has selected Pamela Grossman, dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, to receive the 2015 AACTE Edward C. Pomeroy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education. The award will be presented at the 67th AACTE Annual Meeting Welcoming Session, Friday, February 27, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

The Pomeroy Award, named for longtime AACTE Executive Director Edward C. Pomeroy, recognizes distinguished service either to the educator preparation community or to the development and promotion of outstanding practices in educator preparation at the collegiate, state, or national level.

One of the nation’s foremost scholars of teaching and teacher education, Grossman is widely published and frequently collaborates with experts outside her discipline on cutting-edge, creative projects. She also is a sought-after mentor and has written extensively with her students and former students as coauthors.

In their glowing letter nominating Grossman for the Pomeroy Award, Suzanne Wilson of the University of Connecticut and Deborah Ball of the University of Michigan characterize Grossman’s work as unrelenting, impressive, and ground breaking. They say she “has consistently pushed scholarship into new, policy-relevant, practice-oriented, theoretically rich arenas.” They continue,

Her first writing concerned the knowledge base for secondary English teachers, and her book, The Making of a Teacher: Teacher Knowledge and Teacher Education (1990), made substantial contributions to the then-emergent field of teacher professional knowledge that grew out of Shulman’s call to consider the subject-specific aspects of teaching. She has written extensively on pedagogical content knowledge, teacher knowledge, and teacher learning.

She followed that work with explorations of teacher preparation and professional development, teacher community, professional development schools, interdisciplinary curriculum, district and curriculum policies, and the continuum of moving from teacher preparation into schools and the influences of policies, community, and professional development. Throughout all of this work, she kept her attention trained on teacher learning (most often English teacher learning), gradually expanding her view from considerations of individuals’ knowledge and experiences to the multiple contexts—schools, districts, teacher preparation and professional development programs—that shape and are shaped by those individual teachers.

Dr. Grossman continued with investigations of the pedagogies of the professions, as well collaborating with several top economists on the large-scale ground-breaking Pathways into Teaching Project. This work [. . .] serves as a model for multi-method studies of teacher preparation that embrace the complexity of documenting the factors and forces that shape teacher learning, as well as measuring and assessing the effects of teacher preparation on prospective teachers.

“Pam’s work has influenced and will continue to influence teacher education research, practice, and policy,” Wilson and Ball conclude. “A clear thinker, thoughtful writer, committed mentor, and an excellent and open-minded colleague, Pam is highly deserving of our field’s recognition.”

Grossman began her career in education as a basic skills teacher in New Haven, Connecticut. She also taught high school English en route to her doctoral work at Stanford University, where she worked with Lee Shulman on the Knowledge Growth in a Profession research project. Grossman’s first faculty post was at the University of Washington in 1988, and she rose to Boeing Professor of Teacher Education before returning to Stanford in 2000. She was Nomellini-Olivier Professor of Education and faculty director of Stanford’s Center to Support Excellence in Teaching until her appointment as dean at the University of Pennsylvania, which took effect last month.

She has served on the executive boards of the National Academy of Education, the Spencer Foundation, and the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Her service also includes many editorial boards, search committees, panels for reviewing grant and presentation proposals, advisory boards, and major national panels such as the National Academy of Education’s Committee on Teacher Education and the AERA Consensus Panel on Teacher Education.

Grossman’s work has garnered numerous awards, including three from AACTE; she won two Outstanding Journal of Teacher Education Article Awards (in 2009 and 2010) and the Outstanding Dissertation Award in 1989. Her other awards include two teaching awards from Stanford and research awards from the Association of Teacher Educators, AERA Division K, and the Conference on English Education.

For information on AACTE’s awards program, including lists of past winners, visit