Top 20 Most Influential Education Professors

Teachers teaching future teachers is what educational professorship is about. New methodologies, awards, publications and work beyond the campus often are the marks of what makes an education professor stand out. The following top 20 most influential education professors have done all these things and more…and you can find them in the news as well as on campus.

The following list is compiled in alphabetical order:

  1. Dr. AlvermannDonna Alvermann, PhD, is a UGA Distinguished Research Professor in the University of Georgia’s College of Education’s department of language and literacy education. She was named a 2010 Southern Regional Education Board Mentor of the Year for the Compact for Faculty Diversity Institute on Teaching and Mentoring. Alvermann was among only four faculty members in the country receiving this award.
  2. Dr. AnthonyHolly Anthony, PhD, is a Tennessee Tech associate professor of mathematics education. Her research interests bring interpretivist and poststructural theories to bear on a range of overlapping interests: mathematics teaching and curricula reform, and she was chosen to be part of a four-member team to represent the voice of higher education in Tennessee.
  3. Dr. BasileDr. Michael Basile is a Murray State (Kentucky) University education professor who serves on the first board of trustees at a new university in Iraq’s Kurdish region. Dr. Basile, former director of MSU’s Institute for International Studies, has worked over a decade with the university’s first president to develop civil society institutions in Iraqi Kurdistan.
  4. Dr. ChristenRichard S. Christen, PhD, has a background in history, but is an associate professor of education at the University of Portland, where he won an “Excellence in Teaching” award. He also received a Distinguished Teacher Award, White House Commission on Presidential Scholars in 1990.
  5. Dr. CooksJamal A. Cooks, PhD is an assistant professor of secondary education at San Francisco State University. He is known for instructing his soon-to-be high school teachers how to use rap, hip-hop and sports in the classroom, and asks to use rap as a pre-writing activity to essays.
  6. Dr. CoxonSteve Coxon, PhD, serves as assistant professor of gifted education and literacy at Maryville University in St. Louis where I direct the graduate programs in gifted education. He handles the Maryville University Young Scholars Education Program, which just received a second $20,000 grant from the Saigh Foundation of St. Louis.
  7. Dr. DeLucia-WaackJanice DeLucia-Waack, PhD, is an associate professor in Department of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology and a member of the search committee for the director of the University at Buffalo SUNY Jean M. Alberti Center for the Prevention of Bullying, Abuse and School Violence. She has authored two books and co-authored three other books.
  8. Dr. GhaithGhazi Ghaith, PhD, is an American University of Beirut professor and chairman of the university’s Education Department. He recently was honored for his work in serving “the peoples of the Middle East and beyond,” in line with the award’s criteria. He also served on the Executive Board of Directors of the International Association for the Study of Cooperation in Education (IASCE).
  9. Dr. GoldMatthew K. Gold, PhD, is assistant professor of English at the New Your City College of Technology, CUNY. Dr. Gold is now leading a five-year initiative funded by the U.S. DOE to create a teaching and learning platform that could strengthen social and intellectual bonds among students and deepen their engagement with course materials.
  10. Dr. HunterRichard Hunter, EdD, is a professor in the Educational Organization & Leadership department of the University of Illinois, Champaign. Dr. Hunter is known for his extensive public school administrative experience in public education and for his academic research on topics in urban education. He received a Fulbright Scholar award in October, 2010.
  11. Dr. JorgensenProfessor Robyn Jorgensen, PhD, of Griffith University, Queensland, Australia, focuses her work in the area of equity, particularly focusing on the social practices that contribute to the patterns of success (or not) of social, cultural and linguistic groups. Industries are actively involved in her studies and use the outcomes to inform their own practices.
  12. Dr. KimYoungsoo Kim, PhD, is an internationally-recognized expert in the research areas of message design in online learning and instructional design based on cognitive theories and emerging technologies. Kim is a professor of educational technology at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea. Starting last year, Kim became an adviser to the office of the president of the Republic of Korea, serving on the Advisory Committee to the Secretary of Education, Science, & Culture.
  13. Dr. KyshJudith Kysh, PhD, is a San Francisco State assistant professor of secondary education and mathematics, where she focuses on teach and learning of mathematics from kindergarten to college. She has cowritten at least a dozen books and textbooks about math, including algebra.(photo:
  14. Dr. LalasJose Worrell Lalas, PhD, is a professor of literacy and director of teacher education in the School of Education at the University of Redlands, California. He also served as associate dean of that school, and previously served in the Corona-Norco Unified School District as a school board member for 13 years.
  15. Dr. NielsenDiane Nielsen, PhD is an associate professor of education at the School of Education, The University of Kansas. KU seniors selected her as a finalist for the 2009 HOPE (Honor for an Outstanding Progressive Educator) Award. She conducts study abroad programs, where students work with teachers and children in preschool, elementary, middle, or high school settings.
  16. Dr. LopezLilliam M. Malave Lopez, PhD, associate professor, Department of Learning and Instruction, Graduate School of Education at the University at Buffalo, is director of the department’s bilingual and L2 (second language) education graduate certification program. She is a 2010-2011 Fulbright Scholar.
  17. Dr. PiirtoJane Piirto, PhD, is Ashland University’s fourth Trustees’ Distinguished Professor in the Dwight Schar College of Education. She is an award-winning scholar in education and psychology, and a widely published and award-winning poet and novelist. Dr. Piirto is the recipient of a Fulbright Hays grant for a study tour to Argentina, where she wrote a cycle of poems.
  18. Dr. RiceJennifer King Rice, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Education Policy and Leadership at the University of Maryland. Her publications and presentations have precipitated invitations to share her expertise with various organizations including the US Department of Education, the Maryland State Department of Education, and the New York State Board of Regents among other organizations.
  19. Dr. SalmonRichard G. Salmon, EdD professor of educational leadership and policy studies in the School of Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the professor emeritus title by Tech’s Board of Visitors. He is an authority on public school finance, and his work has made a profound impact on public PK-12 school funding in the U.S.
  20. Dr. WestheimerJoel Westheimer, PhD, is the University Research Chair and professor in the Sociology of Education department, University of Ottawa. His research focus is to explore the ways educational theorists conceive of teaching democracy and the ways school practices embrace or challenge these conceptions.
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