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About SMU

Stephanie Knight

Dr. Stephanie L. Knight is dean of the Simmons School of Education and Human Development. She is a nationally recognized education leader, researcher, and professor dedicated to bringing the results of evidence-based research to elementary, secondary, undergraduate and graduate education.

Knight began her education career as a classroom teacher of Spanish and French in Texas, Saudi Arabia and Pennsylvania. She received her doctorate in curriculum and instruction at the University of Houston before beginning a 20-year tenure at Texas A&M University, where she was professor of educational psychology and teaching, learning and culture. In addition, she held the Houston Endowment, Inc. Chair in Urban Education at Texas A&M, received the University Distinguished Teaching Award and was named a University Faculty Fellow. Knight joined Pennsylvania State University in 2009 as professor of educational psychology, where she taught courses on educational psychology; intelligence and creativity; integrated teaching methods for special education and English Language Learners; and research methods in teacher education. In 2013 she became associate dean at Penn State, leading the College of Education's undergraduate and graduate studies programs.

Her areas of research expertise include the relationships between instructional strategies, classroom processes, learning environments and student outcomes, particularly in U.S. urban and international settings; preservice and inservice teacher professional development; and the use of observational techniques to study classroom processes. She has published her research in hundreds of books, book chapters and journal articles and presented at numerous professional conferences.

In addition, Knight has directed university and national research centers, including serving as associate director of research into practice for the National Science Foundation Information Technology in Science Center for Teaching and Learning; director of evaluation and assessment for the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement in Washington, D.C.; executive director of the Houston School-University Research Collaborative at University of Houston; and director of the Center for Collaborative Learning Communities at Texas A&M. She was co-editor of the American Educational Research Journal: Teaching, Learning, and Human Development from 2004-2006, a publication of the American Educational Research Association; recently completed a five-year term as Lead Editor for the Journal of Teacher Education, the primary publication of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education; and also recently served as associate editor, Review of Educational Research, a publication of the American Educational Research Association ranked highest among education research journals.

Knight received her B.A. in romance languages and literature at the University of Kentucky, her M.A. and certification in secondary education at Lehigh University, and her doctorate in Educational Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston.

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