James Hiebert to Win Lindsey Award for Distinguished Research

AACTE’s Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability has selected James Hiebert, Robert J. Barkley Professor in the University of Delaware School of Education, to receive the 2017 AACTE Margaret B. Lindsey Award for Distinguished Research in Teacher Education. The award will be presented at the 69th AACTE Annual Meeting Speaker Spotlight Session, Saturday, March 4, at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida.

“Dr. Hiebert has invested a major portion of his scholarship in the process of improving teacher preparation,” said Carol Vukelich, dean of the College of Education and Human Development, University of Delaware. “He is recognized as an important scholar who has moved the field of mathematics education forward in significant ways. His work provides a model for how education faculty can design programs that have a positive impact not only on teacher education candidates’ learning but also on the learning of their students when they begin teaching. This is exactly the kind of work our field needs.”

Hiebert was a principal investigator for the Mid-Atlantic Center for Mathematics Teaching and Learning, a National Science Foundation-funded consortium of three research universities and their PK-12 district partners, which from 2000 to 2013 studied models for preparing preservice teachers in mathematics and led to new curricula and systems as well as program improvements that continue today, long after the funded period ended. (See this 2007 article in the Journal of Teacher Education, one of many published about this work.)

In one of the letters of support submitted with Hiebert’s AACTE award nomination, School of Education Director Ralph Ferretti praises Hiebert for tirelessly working to “document the effects of lesson study activities, and to persuade the teacher education community about the merits of this approach to improving teaching.” Ferretti describes Hiebert’s recent investigation into the effects of his preservice math education courses on graduates’ teaching practices (and on their students’ learning) as an important “model for how teacher education programs might demonstrate their effects on the post-graduation performance of their teacher candidates.”

Others outside Hiebert’s home institution agree. In her letter of support, Barbara J. Reys of the University of Missouri states that the program Hiebert implemented at the University of Delaware “is unique and serves as a model for the nation. It relies on continual testing of new methods (tasks, lessons, approaches) through a collaborative, research-based iterative cycle across multiple instructors and sections.”

Another letter of support comes from Randolph Philipp, professor of math education at San Diego State University (CA) and president-elect of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators. Philipp says he would count Hiebert among the top 10 influential math educators worldwide in the past 3 decades and that Hiebert’s contributions to the literature on math teacher education are “profound.”

Hiebert has published dozens of journal articles and books, including a co-authored book, The Teaching Gap, which has sold over 120,000 copies, and he has made numerous professional presentations. His research has served as a catalyst for many new professionals, doctoral students, and colleagues, while providing grounded applications to the broader education profession and new insights in international comparisons, such as through the TIMSS Video Study he led.

Hiebert’s awards include the 2010 Judith E. Jacobs Award for Contributions to Mathematics Teacher Education from the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, the 2013 Wisniewski Teacher Education Award from the Society of Professors of Education, and the 2015 Senior Scholar Award from the American Educational Research Association Special Interest Group on Research in Mathematics Education. In addition to his research contributions, Hiebert is known for his service work, including on editorial boards, awards committees, and professional organizations as well as one-on-one with students.

Hiebert holds a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and earlier degrees from the University of Illinois and Fresno Pacific University.

The Lindsey Award recognizes distinguished achievement in research, by an individual or team of individuals, over the last decade that has had a major impact on the field of educator preparation. Lindsey was a longtime professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, whose own writing and research had a tremendous and lasting impact on the field.

Nominations for this award are reviewed by the AACTE Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability. AACTE issued a press release today announcing all of its 2017 award winners. For more information on AACTE’s awards program, visit http://aacte.org/professional-development-and-events/awards. Applications for next year’s awards open in June.

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