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'Inside the Academy' spotlights top education scholars

Jerome Bruner and Audrey Amrein-Beardsley
January 09, 2012

The lives, work and philosophies of several of the nation’s most respected educational researchers and practitioners are captured in interviews being videotaped and archived by Arizona State University. Taking a page from the long-running Bravo series “Inside the Actors Studio,” the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at ASU has embarked on a project to chronicle the contributions of distinguished scholars.

The “Inside the Academy” website features videotaped interviews with a growing list of noted individuals whose work has made a significant impact on the field of educational research, including Carl Bereiter, David Berliner, Linda Darling-Hammond, Gene Glass, Edmund Gordon, Maxine Greene, Nel Noddings and Lee Shulman. Additional interviews are in the works and will be posted during the coming months. Among the future interviewees are Henry Levin, Jerome Bruner, Diane Ravitch, John Goodlad, James Popham and Elliot Eisner.

Each honoree’s webpage encapsulates his or her life works via online “snapshots.” The site features interview summaries, reflections from family and friends, and gallery collections of photographs. Customized pages also include curriculum vitae, suggestions for further reading, and access to current research.

“The ‘Inside the Academy’ initiative honors members of the National Academy of Education and other distinguished educational researchers by providing them an opportunity to share their passion for education with other educators, students, and the public,” said Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, associate professor with Teachers College, who serves as host of “Inside the Academy.” “As we honor them for their service and contribution to the larger discourse on educational policy and practice, we also are helping to preserve the historical development of the field of education in the United States.”

Berliner, an ASU Regents’ Professor Emeritus, said he is pleased to have been chosen to be featured in the series.

“This is a great resource for students of education who want to hear about the human side of those whom they often study, and for scholars to explain where their ideas come from, how they view their contributions, and what they think about their field of study,” Berliner said. “The information available at the ‘Inside the Academy’ website provides insight into how the minds of these productive scholars work.”

“This resource has proven extremely popular not only within the U.S. but also internationally,” Amrein-Beardsley said. “The website receives visits from countries including Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Thailand.”

Amrein-Beardsley, Berliner and Glass (another ASU Regents’ Professor Emeritus) have been included in Education Week’s 2012 Edu-Scholar Public Presence rankings. The metrics, according to the publication’s “Rick Hess Straight Up” blog, are designed to recognize university-based academics who are contributing most substantially to debates about schools and schooling. The rankings are available at

Amrein-Beardsley is nationally recognized for her work on the issue of evaluating teacher effectiveness. She recently joined three renowned education experts, including Darling-Hammond of Stanford University, at a Capitol Hill briefing on “Getting Teacher Evaluation Right: A Challenge for Policy Makers” sponsored by the American Educational Research Association. More than 200 attended the briefing that examined the challenges and complexities of using value-added measures of student learning to evaluate teachers.

In addition to Amrein-Beardsley and Darling-Hammond, panelists included joined Edward Haertel of Stanford University, who chairs the National Research Council Board on Testing and Assessment, and Jesse Rothstein of the University of California-Berkeley, a former senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisors. John F. (Jack) Jennings, president and CEO for the Center on Education Policy, moderated the panel. Key issues addressed at the briefing included how teacher effectiveness might best be measured, what teacher evaluation policies and practices are effective in identifying and developing high-quality teaching, and what policies are likely to support sound teacher evaluation. A video and materials from the event are available at

To learn more about “Inside the Academy,” visit

“Inside the Academy” is an initiative of ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, which is active on all four Phoenix-area campuses of ASU and around the state of Arizona. The college offers challenging undergraduate and graduate education programs that prepare highly qualified and successful teachers, leaders and researchers. More information about Teachers College is available at