Faculty of Education and Social Work

Director and Executive Advisory Board

Janet Gaffney - Director


Janet Gaffney is a Professor of Educational Psychology-Literacy in the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy and Director of the Marie Clay Research Centre - LEAD in Early Literacy. She joined the University of Auckland from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she held appointments in Special Education, Educational Psychology, and Curriculum and Instruction and was the Illinois Reading Recovery Director and University Trainer for eight years. At the University of Illinois, she held appointments as a Senior Scientist at the Center for the Study of Reading, Associate in the Center for Advanced Study, and a Faculty Fellow in the Academy of Entrepreneurial Leadership.

Jan’s commitment to children’s literacy learning began with her K-12 teaching experience with Native Americans in tribally operated schools. Jan’s current research foci are literacy learning and leading. She has been able to merge her literacy intervention research with the development of collaborative and innovative teacher leaders, who are transforming literacy outcomes of students and facilitating sustainable processes for system revitalisation. The framework of entrepreneurial teacher leading that has evolved from this line of research offers a theoretically coherent view of the evolution of educational leaders, who are teachers. For these teacher leaders, children’s learning is the centripetal force that drives their thinking and actions.

Courtney Cazden - Executive Advisory Board


Courtney Cazden is Charles William Eliot Professor of Education Emerita at Harvard University. She received her AB from Radcliffe College, her MEd from the University of Illinois, and her EdD from Harvard University. Cazden has received the American Educational Research Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education and a fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Cazden is interested in the development of oral and written abilities and in the functions of language in school and community. A former primary-school teacher, she also has taught expository writing in an evening course for adults returning to college. Cazden was the recipient of a Fulbright research fellowship to study Māori education in New Zealand. She also is an elected member of the National Academy of Education, and a past president of the Council on Anthropology and Education and of the American Association for Applied Linguistics. She has taught summer courses at the Bread Loaf School of English.


Mary Anne Doyle - Executive Advisory Board


Mary Anne Doyle, University of Connecticut, is Professor of Reading and Head of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the Neag School of Education.  As a Reading Recovery Trainer and Director of the University’s Reading Recovery Center, she has served as co-PI with researchers at The Ohio State University and 18 additional universities on a U.S. Department of Education i3 Grant, Scaling Up Reading Recovery.  Her work is published in the Yearbook of the National Reading Conference, the Journal of Reading Recovery, Research in the Teaching of English, the Journal of Education and the Journal of Investigative Medicine.  She served as a contributing author to IRA’s Annual Summary of Reading Research for eight years, is the author of numerous monographs and book chapters, and is co-editor of the text Learning from Research of Reading/Writing Connections.  Dr. Doyle is the Consulting Editor for the Marie Clay Literacy Trust and assists with the ongoing revision and re-publication of Marie Clay’s many texts.  She currently serves as editor in chief of the Journal of Reading Recovery and has also served as an Area Editor of the Journal of Literacy Research.  An active member of professional literacy associations, she has contributed as chair of numerous IRA committees (Print Media Award Committee, Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award Committee, William S. Gray Citation of Merit Committee), president of the Reading Recovery Council of North America, and chair of the Executive Committee of the International Reading Recovery Trainers Organization.  She has taught at Cambridge University, England, and presented at literacy conferences in Ireland, Australia, Thailand, Czech Republic, Russia, New Zealand, Germany, and Greece.


Peter H. Johnston - Executive Advisory Board


Peter Johnston has worked as an elementary classroom teacher and as a reading teacher. He has published ten books and over 80 articles. His publications have appeared in journals such as Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Literacy Research, Elementary School Journal, Reading Teacher, Language Arts, Harvard Educational Review, Teachers College Record, Journal of Educational Psychology, Contemporary Educational Psychology, Educational Psychologist, and Theory into Practice.

His most recent books are Opening Minds: Using language to change lives (2012, Stenhouse), RTI in Literacy – Responsive and Comprehensive (2010, International Reading Association), Choice Words: How Our Language Affects Children’s Learning (2004, Stenhouse), Critical literacy/critical teaching: Tools for preparing responsive teachers (2006, Teachers College Press, with Cheryl Dozier & Rebecca Rogers), and Reading to Learn: Lessons from exemplary fourth grade classrooms (2002, Guilford, with Richard Allington). Choice Words, now in three languages and with close to 225,000 copies in print, was Scholastic Magazine’s #1 choice for book from the past decade every teacher should read.

Johnston has received numerous awards for his work including the Albert J. Harris Award from the International Reading Association for his contribution to the understanding of reading disability and the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research. Most recently, the Literacy Research Association honored him with the P. David Pearson Scholarly Influence Award, citing his book Choice Words as having “demonstrably and positively influenced literacy teaching in classrooms and districts nationally.” He is a member of the Reading Hall of Fame.

In his current research he investigates the consequences of teaching decisions, particularly language choices, for the kinds of literacy children acquire, how teachers and students build productive learning communities, and the implications of focusing on engagement.


P. David Pearson - Executive Advisory Board


P. David Pearson is a faculty member in the programs in Language and Literacy and Human Development at the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as Dean from 2001-2010. Current research projects include Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading--a Research and Development effort with colleagues at Lawrence Hall of Science in which reading, writing, and language as are employed as tools to foster the development of knowledge and inquiry in science--and the Strategic Education Research Partnership--a collaboration between UC Berkeley, Stanford, and the San Francisco Unified School District designed to embed research within the portfolio of school-based issues and priorities. He also works with teachers in middle and high schools in New York City to figure out how to promote deeper learning as teachers try to navigage the new Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts. Prior to coming to Berkeley in 2001, he served on the faculties of education at Michigan State, Illinois, and Minnesota.

Awards include the 1989 Oscar Causey Award (NRC) for contributions to reading research, the 1990 William S. Gray Citation of Merit (IRA) for contributions to reading research and practice, the 2005 Albert J. Harris Award (IRA) for the year's best reading disability publication, and the 2003 Alan Purves Award (NCTE) for a publication impacting practice. In 2006 the University of Minnesota honored him with the Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award, and in 2010 AERA presented him Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award. In 2012, the Literacy Research Association established the P. David Pearson Scholarly Influence Award to be given annually to honor research that exerts a long-term influence on literacy practices and/or policies.

He is the founding editor of the Handbook of Reading Research now in its fourth volume, he edited Reading Research Quarterly and the Review of Research in Education, and he has served on the Editorial Review Board for some 20 educational journals. Professor Pearson received his B.A. in History from the University of California, Berkeley, taught elementary school in California for several years, and went on to complete his Ph.D. in Reading Education at the University of Minnesota. He completed post-doctoral study at the University of Texas, Austin and Stanford University.


Janet Scull - Executive Advisory Board


Associate Professor Janet Scull is an experienced language and literacy educator, teaching in both graduate and postgraduate programs at Monash University Australia. Her research interests focus on the areas of language and literacy acquisition, literacy teaching and assessment and teaching practices that support the continuity of children’s literacy learning across early childhood settings and the early years of schooling. Janet has contributed to the design, implementation and evaluation of approaches to early literacy teaching, for students from a range of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. She is also a Reading Recovery Trainer and continues support the implementation of this early literacy intervention.