Robert Pianta


  • Early childhood and preschool
  • Educational standards
  • Professional development
  • Teacher effectiveness
  • Teacher quality

Robert Pianta has been dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia since May 2007. He serves as director of the National Center for Research in Early Childhood Education and is the founding director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning at the University of Virginia. Pianta’s recent work focuses on the assessment of teacher quality, teacher-child interaction and relationships, using standardized observational assessment and video feedback. Pianta is the senior author and developer of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), a method for assessing teacher/classroom quality being used in many applications at the district, state and national levels. His assessments of teacher effectiveness are the national standard for Head Start classrooms and are included in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Measures of Effective Teaching study. Pianta earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education from the University of Connecticut and a doctorate in psychology from the University of Minnesota.