Professor Robert J. Tierney


Honorary Professor


Phone: +1 778 898  1477


Building.Room: A35.

Research interests

Educational history, sociology and philosophy

  • Sociology of education

Educational systems: administration, management and leadership

  • International and comparative education

Research on teaching and learning

  • English and literacy


Literacy education, research paradigms and rhetoric of science, assessment, professional development of educators, multimedia and cultural studies


  • 2003 W.S Gray Citation of Merit, International Reading Association

  • 2000 Reading Hall of Fame Inductee

  • 1997 Recipient of Literacy Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the Literacy of Ohio Students by the Literacy Educator and Advocacy Forum

  • 1996 Distinguished Scholar, Edith Cowan University, Perth Western Australia

  • 2014 International Research Contributions, Beijing Normal University

  • 2010, Award recipient, Lifetime member, Association of Canadian Deans of Education.

  • 2010, A British Columbia Deans of Education.  Contributions to public education in British Columbia

  • 1997, Outstanding contributions to the Literacy of Ohio Students by the Literacy Educator and Advocacy Forum

  • 1986, Award recipient,  Excellence in Teacher-Researcher Collaborations, American Association of College Teacher Educators

  • 1985 &1986, Award recipient, Teacher Excellence Award. University of Illinois, 1985 and 1986

Selected publications


  • Tierney, R. J. & Kang, C. (2009). Learning with portfolios - A portfolio journey in Chinese reading and writing classrooms. Beijing: Beijing Normal University Publishing Group.
  • Tierney, R. J., Readance, J., & Dishner, E. (2005). (2005). Reading strategies and practices: A compendium.. (6th ed.), Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Tierney, R. J., Crumpler, T., Bond, E., and Bertelsen, C. (2003). (2003). Interactive assessment: Teachers, students and parents as partners.. Norwood, MA: Christopher Gordon Publishers, Inc..
  • Rogers, T. & Tierney, R. J. (Ed.). (1994). Reading section editor for the Encyclopedia of English Studies and Teaching Language Arts.. Longman/NCTE.
  • Tierney, R. J., Carter, M., & Desai, L. (1991). Portfolio assessment in the reading writing classroom.. Norwood, MA: Christopher Gordon Publishers, Inc..
  • Tierney, R. J. . (1990). Improving Comprehension: A Guide for Parents. Hume Corporation.
  • Tierney, R. J., Anders, P., & Mitchell, J. (Eds.). (1987). Understanding Readers' Understanding. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Anderson, R. C., Osborn, J., & Tierney, R. J. (Eds.). (1984). Learning to Read in American Schools: Basal Reader and Content Textbooks.. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Tierney, R. J., & Lapp, D. (Eds.). (1979). The National Assessment of Educational Progress in Reading.. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Book chapters

  • Tierney, R. (in press). Investigating Australia's inequities: The plight, promises and possibilities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in universities. In R. Slee (Ed.), Researching pedagogy and learning Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • Richard Beach & Robert J. Tierney. (2017). Toward a theory of literacy meaning making within virtual worlds. . In S. Israel (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Reading Comprehension. (2nd ed., Vol. 2, pp. 135–164), New York: Guilford.
  • Tierney, R. J. (2013). Multimedia digital engagements by readers and learners. In C. A. Chapelle (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.
  • Robert J. Tierney. (2012). Changing histories changing literacies: making the case for Nigeria. . In O. Emejulu & I Isiugo-Abanihe. (Ed.), Cross-disciplinary perspectives in literacy and language studies. (Vol. 1, pp. 1–10), International Deployment Committee for Africa, IRA and Africa-Link Books, Owerri Nigeria.
  • Tierney, R. J. (2010). Perspectives on assessment: reflections on and directions from Goodman.. In P. L. Anders (Ed.), Defying Convention, Inventing the Future in Literary Research and Practice. Essays in Tribute to Ken and Yetta Goodman New York: Routledge.
  • Tierney, R. J. (2009). Literacy education 2.0: Looking through the rear view mirror as we move ahead.. In J. Hoffman & Y. Goodman (Ed.), Changing literacies for changing times : an historical perspective on the future of reading research, public policy, and classroom practices (pp. 282–300), New York: Routledge.
  • Tierney, R. J. (2008). The agency and artistry of meaning makers within and across digital spaces. In Susan E. Israel, Gerald G. Duffy (Ed.), Handbook of Research on reading Comprehension (pp. 261–288), New York: Erlbaum Associates/Routledge.
  • O'Flahavan, J. F., & Tierney, R. J. (2008). Moving Beyond Reading and Writing in the Content Areas of Discipline-Based Inquiry.. In D. Lapp, J. Flood & N. Farnan (Ed.), Content Area Reading and Learning (3rd ed., pp. 537–552), New York: Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Tierney, Robert J. (2008). Learning with Multiple Literacies: Observations of Lives Exploring Meanings, Identities, Possibilities, and Worlds.. In James Flood, Shirley Brice Heath and Dianne Lapp (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Teaching Literacy Through the Communicative and Visual Arts Volume II (pp. 101–108), New York: Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Tierney, R.J. . (2007). New literacy learning strategies for new times. In Leslie S. Rush, A. Jonathan Eakle, Allen Berger (Ed.), Secondary school literacy : what research reveals for classroom practice (pp. 21–36), Urbana, IL: NCTE/NCRE.
  • Tierney, R.J. and Thome, C. (2006). Is DIBELS leading us down the wrong path?. In Kenneth S. Goodman with Alan Flurkey ... [et al.] ; foreword by P. David Pearson (Ed.), The truth about DIBELS : what it is, what it does (pp. 50–59), Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Journal articles

  • Tierney, R. J. (2017). Multitopia: Global citizenship across diverse spaces. Global Commons Review, 1, 75–81.
  • Robert J. Tierney. (2017). Populism and Literacy Consciousness in Uncertain Global Times. Journal of Literacy Research, 49(2), 305–307. DOI:0.1177/1086296X17708635
  • Robert J. Tierney & Wei Kan. (2016). Knowledge mobilization within and across the People’s Republic of China and the United States: A cross-national study of internationalization of educational research. . American Educational Research Journal, 53(6), 1759–1791. DOI:DOI: 10.3102/0002831216678320
  • Ginns, P., Loughland, A., Tierney, R., Fryer, L., Amazan, R. & McCormick, A. (2015). Evaluation of the Learning to Teach for Social Justice-Beliefs Scale in an Australian context. Higher Education Research and Development, 34(2), 311–323. DOI:10.1080/07294360.2014.956701
  • Hoffman, J. V., Rogers, T, Sailors, M. & Tierney, R.J. . (2011). Multilingual practices, critical literacies, and visual culture: a focus on African Contexts. . Reading Research Quarterly, 46(4), 389–398.
  • Tierney, R. J. (2009). Shaping New Literacies Research: Extrapolations From a Review of the Handbook of Research on New Literacies. Reading Research Quarterly, 44(3), 322–339.
  • Tierney, R. J. (2008). Reading and students with disabilities: searching for better guidance. Balanced Reading Instruction (Special Issue Fall 2008), 15(2), 89–97.
  • Collins, A. & Tierney, R. J. (2006). Teacher Education Accord: Values and Ideals of the Teaching Profession in Canada. Education Canada, 46(4), 73–75.
  • Tierney, R. J., Bond, E. & Bresler, J. (2006). Examining Literate Lives as Students Engage With Multiple Literacies. Theory into Practice (Special Issue), 45(4), 359–367. DOI:10.1207/s15430421tip4504_10
  • Tierney, R. J. (2006). Global/Cultural Teachers Creating Possibilities: Reading Worlds, Reading Selves, and Learning to Teach. Pedagogies: an international journal, 1(1), 77–87.
  • Tierney, R. J. & Rogers, T. (2004). Process/content/design/critique: Generative and dynamic evaluation in a digital world . The Reading Teacher, 58(2), 218–221.
  • Tierney, R. J. (2001). An ethical chasm: jurisdiction, jurisprudence, and the literacy profession: a fictional drama illustrates the complexity of politics in the literacy field. A teacher educator is caught between her own ethics and the prevailing trends.. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 45(4), 260–276.


  • Kan, Wei, Xiang, Ran & Tierney, R. J. (2017). Empirical literacy education scholarship across space and time, paper presented at the Annual Meeting of AERA San Antonio, Texas, April 28, 2017.
  • Tierney, R. J. (2017). Unpacking internationalization: literacy researchers across space and time, workshop given to the Literacy Research Association (LRA) Board members and editors of their Yearbook and Journal of Literacy Research, San Antonio April 26, 2017.
  • Tierney, R. J. (2016). Literacy; the waves of development, keynote address at the 15th Annual Reading Association of Nigeria, October 4, 2016, University of Calibar.
  • Tierney, R. J. (2016). Cross national research: the shaping of epistemologies and ethics, presented at the XVI World Congress of Comparative Education Societies Beijing, August 2016.
  • Tierney, R. J. (2016). Ethics in international contexts – processes, procedures and cultural considerations, presented at the Literacy Research Association Annual meeting, Nashville Tennessee, November 30, 2016.
  • Tierney, R. J., Xiang, Ran, Kan, W. (2016). Western Epistemology and Global Literacy Research, paper presented at the Literacy Research Association Annual Meeting, Nashville, Tennessee. November 30, 2016.
  • Tierney, R. J. (2016). Unpacking Ethical Chasms: The Guise of Global Educational Empowerment and Internationalization, paper presented at the World Educational Research Association/American Educational Research Association joint meeting, Washington DC. April 9, 2016. In conjunction with the symposium Border Crossings and Ethical Praxis: Global Educational Pursuits Within .
  • Robert J. Tierney. (2015). Integrative Research Review
: Mapping the Challenges and Changes to Literacy Research., In the proceedings of the sixty-third annual proceedings of the Literacy Research Association .