Susan Moore Johnson
Harvard University
Jerome T. Murphy Research Professor of Education

Year Elected


Membership status

Susan Moore Johnson is the Jerome T. Murphy Research Professor in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she served as academic dean 1993-1999. A former high school teacher and administrator, Johnson has an ongoing research interest in the work of teachers and the reform of schools and school systems. Johnson has written many journal articles and five books about teachers and their work: Teacher Unions in Schools (1984), focuses on the role of teacher unions in the day-to-day work of schools. Teachers at Work (1990) examines the school as a workplace for teachers. Finders and Keepers: Helping New Teachers Survive and Thrive in Our Schools (2006), written with colleagues at The Project on the Next Generation of Teachers, centers on the experiences of new teachers. Subsequent research at the Project has investigated teachers' careers, alternative preparation, the role of unions, hiring, teacher induction, performance-based pay, teacher teams, and teacher evaluation. Johnson also is co-author with John P. Papay of Redesigning Teacher Pay (2009). Johnson's latest book, Where Teachers Thrive: Organizing Schools for Success (2019), examines how schools that succeed in low-income communities support and enhance their teachers' work. Johnson has also written and consulted widely about educational leadership and management. Her 1996 book, Leading to Change: Challenges of the New Superintendency, analyzes the leadership practices of 12 newly appointed superintendents during their first six months in the role. Between 2007 and 2014, Johnson served as co-chair of the Public Education Leadership Project (PELP), a collaboration between the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. There, she and her colleagues wrote Achieving Coherence in District Improvement (2015), which examines the management relationship between the central office and schools in five large urban school districts.

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