Emeritus Professor Robert J Tierney

TeachDip, BScEd, BA, MA, PhD
Honorary Professor
+1 778 898 1477
+61 2 93512606
A35 / 307
The University of Sydney

Rob Tierney is Dean Emeritus of Education, University of British Columbia and Professor Emeritus of Language and Literacy Education. He was Dean of the Faculty of Education and Social Work at The University of Sydney from 2010–2013. He has served as a member of the faculties at the Ohio State University, the University of Illinois, University of Arizona, Harvard University and University of California-Berkeley.

Rob has published numerous books and scholarly articles focused upon literacy education, teacher development, cross-national educational research, educational assessment and equity.   His recent projects include research on global epistemologies and cross-cultural research, digital literacy and meaning making, the nature of educational scholarship across countries, teacher development projects in China and indigenous developments in Australia. He has served as editor of Reading Research Quarterly and an editorial board member to the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Researcher, the British Educational Research Journal, Journal of Literacy Research and Reading Research Quarterly. He has pursued funded research for various US government and Canadian agencies and been engaged in projects for UNESCO in Africa, Children’s Television Workshop, Apple Computer, the World Bank, various foundations and university consortium groups globally, across America and the Asia-Pacific region.

In Canada, he served as the President of the Association of Canadian Deans of Education where he guided the formulation of a National Accord on Teacher Education and a National Accord on Education Research. In Australia, he was been actively involved in national, state and local teacher education, educational research and indigenous efforts including with the Association of Australia Council of Deans of Education and affiliates.

He was President of the Literacy Research Association and Chair of the National Assembly of Research for the National Council of Teachers of English. He was engaged with graduate-level research and teacher-education initiatives and responsible for oversight of the National Eisenhower Center for Science and Mathematics Education and the ERIC clearinghouse for Science and Mathematics Education as well as US Reading Recovery’s national office.

Rob has been the recipient of a number of international and national awards including the W. S. Gray Award for contributions to literacy education, American Council of Teacher Education Award for contributions to Teacher Education and Beijing Normal University Award for contributions to international research collaborations. In Canada he received an award and lifetime membership in the Association of Canadian Deans of Education for his work.

WS Gray Citation of Merit, International Reading Association
Inductee, Reading Hall of Fame
Distinguished Scholar, Edith Cowan University, Perth Western Australia
International Research Contributions, Beijing Normal University
Life membership, Association of Canadian Deans of Education.
Contributions to public education in British Columbia, British Columbia Deans of Education.
Literacy Award for outstanding contributions to the Literacy of Ohio Students, Literacy Educator and Advocacy Forum
Excellence in Teacher-Researcher Collaborations, American Association of College Teacher Educators
Teacher Excellence Award, University of Illinois

  • Dean Emeritus, University of British Columbia
  • Professor Emeritus, Language and Literacy Education, University of British Columbia
  • Visiting Distinguished Scholar, Beijing Normal University
  • Conjoint Professor for the Wollotuka Centre, University of Newcastle
  • Editor In Chief, International Encyclopedia of Educational Research. Elsevier
  • Editorial Advisory Board, American Educational Research Journal, 2011-2014. 
  • Editorial Advisory Board,  British Journal of Educational Research, 2009-2014.
  • Editorial Review Board, Reading Research Quarterly, 1980–1990, 1995-2016, 2017-Present.
  • Editorial Review Board, Journal of Literacy Research, Literacy Research Association

Selected books
  • Tierney, R.J. and Pearson, P.D. (2021). A history of literacy education: waves of research and practice. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Tierney, R.J. and Readence, J. (2005). Reading strategies and practices: a compendium. (6th ed.), Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Tierney, R.J., Crumpler, T. Bond, E., and Bertelsen, C. (2003). Interactive assessment: teachers, students and parents as partners. Norwood, MA: Christopher Gordon Publishers, Inc.

Selected book chapters
  • Tierney, R.J. (2020). "Notes on global reading: critical cultural traversals, transactions and transformations." In Lauren Ila Misiaszek (Ed.) Exploring the complexities in global citizenship education: hard spaces, methodologies, and ethics. (pp. 36-68). New York: Routledge.
  • Beach, R. and Tierney, R.J. (2016). "Toward a theory of literacy meaning making within virtual worlds." In S. Israel (Ed.) Handbook of Research on Reading Comprehension. Vol. 2. (pp. 135–164). New York: Guilford

Selected journal articles
  • Tierney, R.J. (2018). "Toward a model of global meaning making." Journal of Literacy Research, 50:4;1–26.
  • Tierney, R. J. (2018). "Global educational research in western times: the rise and plight of China." Frontiers of Education in China, 13:2;163–192.
  • Tierney, R.J., and Kan, W. (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: 10.3102/0002831216678320
  • Tierney, R.J. (2011). "Multimedia digital engagements by readers and learners." In C Fisher and R. Lerner (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, Thousand Oaks, California: Sage. Publishing.

Cross-national case studies of ethnic student access, engagement and graduation in selected universities (China, Australia and Canada)
INE Research Alliance—Multiple  literacies