Louis M. Gomez Named Senior Partner in Carnegie Foundation Program

Issue Date: 
November 2, 2009
Louis M. GomezLouis M. Gomez

Louis M. Gomez, professor and Helen S. Faison Chair in Urban Education in the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, has been named one of only five senior partners for a new program of work at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

The new program “will seek to tackle some of the most nettlesome problems affecting the educational success of a large number of our nation’s students,” according to the foundation’s announcement of the senior partners’ appointments. “The first problem it will address is the high failure rates among students in developmental mathematics in community colleges.”

Gomez is the inaugural holder of the Faison Chair, the first director of Pitt’s Center for Urban Education, and a senior scientist in Pitt’s Learning Research and Development Center.

“Professor Gomez brings to his work the unique combination of preparation in cognitive science research, involvement in urban education practice, experience in the uses of classroom technology to promote learning, and knowledge of the most forward-looking components of the information economy,” said Alan Lesgold, School of Education dean. “He is an obvious choice for the Carnegie Foundation’s effort, and we are fortunate to have him at Pitt.”

The others selected as senior partners to guide the development of the Carnegie’s new program agenda are Magdalene Lampert, the George Herbert Mead Collegiate Professor in Education, University of Michigan; James W. Stigler, professor of psychology, University of California, Los Angeles; Uri Treisman, director of the Charles A. Dana Center and professor of mathematics and public affairs at the University of Texas; and Guadalupe Valdés, the Bonnie Katz Tenenbaum Professor of Education, Stanford University.

“With the help of these partners, each of whom brings expertise to the work, Carnegie will convene the right mix of practitioners, researchers, social entrepreneurs, policy makers, and other stakeholders—including students—to map the dimensions of a problem, identify promising solutions, and advocate and support the efforts of a community engaged in continuous evidence-based improvement,” Carnegie President Anthony S. Bryk said. “These five partners will be integral to these efforts.”

Gomez has worked with Bryk to develop a new approach to education research and development, Design-Educational Engineering-and-Development (DEED). According to the Carnegie Foundation’s announcement of Gomez’ appointment, “isolated, short-term projects at a few sites must give way to longer-term, cooperative initiatives that move through repeated cycles of problem diagnosis, design, assessment, and redesign—a process carefully attuned to the variations among sites and circumstances in which improvements must take root. The DEED approach is based on the notion that it is not sufficient to know that a program or innovation can work, but how to make it work reliably over many diverse contexts and situations.”

Prior to joining Pitt in January 2009, Gomez was Aon Professor of Learning Sciences and professor of computer science at Northwestern University. He also served as Learning Sciences Program coordinator at Northwestern, working with school communities to create social arrangements and curricula to support school improvement. He was a codirector of the National Science Foundation-sponsored Center for Learning Technologies in Urban Schools (LeTUS), a partnership comprising the Chicago Public Schools, the Detroit Public Schools, the University of Michigan, and Northwestern.

He is a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Math and Science Partnership, Knowledge, Management, and Dissemination Project; the external advisory board of the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education at the University of Washington; the MacArthur Foundation Teaching and Learning Planning Network; the board of directors of CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology); and the board of trustees of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He also serves as a member of the National Research Council’s Center for Education and the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center.

Among Gomez’ publications are “Supporting Meaningful Science Learning: Reading and Writing Science” with coauthors in A. Rodriguez’ Science Education as a Pathway to Teaching Language Literacy (Rotterdam, Netherlands: SENSE Publishing, in press); The Role of Research in Educational Improvement, with coauthors (Harvard Education Press, 2009); “Creating Social Relationships: The Role of Technology in Pre-Service Teacher Preparation” with coauthors in the Journal of Teacher Education (2008); and, with Kimberley Gomez, “Reading for Learning: Literacy Supports for 21st Century Work” in Phi Delta Kappan (2007) and “Preparing Young Learners for the 21st Century: Reading and Writing to Learn in Science,” Invitational Paper Series of the Minority Student Achievement Network (2007).

Gomez received the BA degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1974 and the PhD degree in cognitive psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1979.

Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an act of Congress, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center. Its current mission is to support needed transformations in American education through tighter connections between teaching practice, evidence of student learning, the communication and use of this evidence, and structured opportunities to build knowledge.