Robert Pianta

Member Since: 2021


Robert Pianta, PhD, is the Batten Bicentennial Professor of Early Childhood Education, Professor of Psychology, and founding director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning at the University of Virginia. Dr. Pianta’s research and policy interests focus on the intersection of education and human development. In particular his work has advanced conceptualization and measurement of teacher-student relationships and documented their contributions to students’ learning and development. Dr. Pianta has led research and development on measurement tool and interventions that help teachers interact with students more effectively and that are used widely in the United States and around the world. Dr. Pianta received a BS and an MA in Special Education from the University of Connecticut and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. He began his career as a special education teacher and joined the University of Virginia faculty in 1986. He is past Editor of the Journal of School Psychology and associate editor for AERA Open. An internationally recognized expert in both early childhood education and K-12 teaching and learning, Dr. Pianta regularly consults with federal agencies, foundations, universities, and governments. He was named a Fellow of the American Education Research Association and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Minnesota in 2016. Dr. Pianta served as Dean of the UVA School of Education of Human Development from 2007-2022 and remains a member of the faculty. Dr. Pianta is currently on sabbatical.

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