Christopher Gareis, associate dean for teacher education & professional services at William & Mary's School of Education, received the Virginia Educational Research Association's Charles Clear Research Award recently.
The award is presented annually to an "individual, group or organization that has made a sustained contribution to educational research or evaluation in the Commonwealth of Virginia or the nation," according to VERA. The award is named for a prominent Virginia educator who contributed to the association's early development.
"Quite honestly, I remain simultaneously surprised, thrilled and honored to be receiving this award," said Gareis. "It is especially meaningful to me because, although I am not a native Virginian, I have spent my entire career in the Commonwealth and I have long considered it my home. Therefore, it is incredibly affirming to have my work in and contributions to Virginia recognized by my peers."
Gareis received the award at the annual meeting of VERA, at which he made a presentation on his current research, which focuses on "developing teachers' abilities to use classroom-based assessment to improve student learning," he said. His work in this area, which was conducted with his colleague Leslie Grant '06, resulted in their 2008 book Teacher-made Assessments: How to Connect Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Learning.
Gareis began working at William & Mary in 2001 as the School of Education's associate dean for professional services, and he is also an associate professor of educational leadership. His research interests include instructional leadership, teacher mentoring, teacher evaluation, teacher compensation and classroom-based assessment.
Gareis said that he is particularly thrilled about the Charles Clear Research Award because it is being presented to him by an education research association.
"In an applied field such as education, research is sometimes seen as being disconnected from the workaday life of teachers and leaders in K-12 schools," he said. "As both a professor and as a former secondary school teacher, I have always been keenly aware of this tension. Indeed, I would characterize a considerable amount of my career-long work as an attempt to translate research into practice for teachers and educational leaders in the field. To be recognized by a group of people that I consider to be extraordinary researchers for my role in bringing research to bear on practice is extraordinarily gratifying."