Susan O’Hara joined the School of Education as REEd’s Executive Director in 2013 with a wealth of experience and background in public education, and working closely with teachers, researchers and community leaders. An educator for 20 years, Susan began teaching mathematics and science to middle and high school students in Ireland. In 2000, Susan was appointed assistant professor in teacher education at Sacramento State University and received early promotion to associate professor in 2004. While at Sacramento State University she served as associate chair of teacher education and core faculty for the Independent Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Most recently, she was associate professor and founding executive director of the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching (CSET) at Stanford University.
Susan’s research practice partnership work is focused on building instructional capacity and implementing integrated professional growth systems, with specific attention to meeting the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse populations. Her work in this area has spanned 22 years and she is specifically interested in partnerships that translate into actions and improvements in practice. Her current work stems from a five-year grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) testing the efficacy of Academic Language and Literacy in Every Subject (ALLIES), an instructional capacity building model that targets the academic language and literacy needs of English learners in grades3-6 as well as a four-year grant from the National Science Foundation testing the efficacy of a professional learning model designed to improve math outcomes for all students.
U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation (2018-2022). Testing the Efficacy of the SOAR for Math Professional Learning Model. ($4.9M)
U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (2017-2022). Investigating the Efficacy of the Academic Language and Literacy Professional Developmental Model.($3.2M)
U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition (2016- 2021). Building District Capacity to Support Mentors and Teachers in the Academic Language and Literacy Development of Young English Learners. ($2.5 M)
Improving Teacher Quality Grant (2016-2018). Resourcing Integrated Professional Learning Systems. ($3.8 M)
California Department of Corrections. Evaluation of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Career Technical Education Program. ($500,000).
Improving Teacher Quality Grant. Resourcing Integrated Professional Learning Systems ($5.8M).
U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition. Academic Literacy Support for Teachers: A Capacity Building Approach ($2M).
O’Hara, S. and Bookmyer, J. (2018). Theory of action for resourcing professional growth. Journal of Professional Capital and Community.
O’Hara, S., Bookmyer, J., Martin, R., Newton, R., and Reyes, R. (2018). The (not so fast or straight) Line to Continuous Improvement: Building a Teacher Professional Growth System. Leadership Magazine
O’Hara, S., Pritchard, R. (2016). Framing teaching for Common Core literacy standards: SOAR teaching frames for literacy. Psychology Research, February 2016, Vol. 6, No. 2, 92-101.
O’Hara, S., Pritchard, R., & Zwiers, J. (2016). Academic Language and Literacy in Every Subject (ALLIES): A capacity building approach to supporting teachers in Grades 3-8. In F. Hiebert & P. Proctor (Eds), Teaching emergent bilingual students: Flexible approaches in an era of new standards
Pritchard, R., O’Hara, S., & Zwiers, J. (2016). Framing the teaching of academic language to English learners: A Delphi study of expert consensus. TESOL Quarterly.
O’Hara, S., Pritchard, R., Pitta, D., and Webb, J. (2015). Implementing new technologies to support social justice pedagogy. In Papa, R., Eadens, D. M., & Eadens, D. M. (Eds). Social justice instruction: Empowerment on the chalkboard. Springer Publishing
O’Hara, S. & Pritchard, R. (2015). Using new technologies to engage and support English learners in mathematics classrooms. In D. Polly (Ed.) Cases on technology and Common Core mathematics standards. IGI Global. Hersey, PA.
O’Hara, S., Zwiers, J., & Pritchard, R. (2014). Cutting to the Common Core: Changing the playing field. The Journal of Communication & Education, 13(7), 28-31.
O’Hara, S., & Pritchard, R. (2013). Learning to integrate new technologies into teaching and learning through a design-based model of professional development. The Journal of Technology and Teacher Education (JTATE), 21(2), Pages 203-223.
O’Hara, S. & Pritchard, R. (2012). Professional degree programs for the development of accomplished teachers: A case for the National Board Certification process. Journal of Educational Research and Practice (JERAP), 2(1), Pages 54–73.
O’Hara, S., Pritchard, R., & Huang-DeVoss, Cammy. (2012). The Teaching Using Technology Studio (TUTS): Innovative professional development to meet the needs of English language learners. TESOL Journal.
O’Hara, S. & Pritchard, R. (2012). “I’m teaching what?!”: Preparing university faculty for online Instruction. Journal of Educational Research and Practice (JERAP). Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 42-53.
In a special issue of ASCD Express, Talking and Listening in Class, REEd executive director Susan O’Hara, with co-writers Jeff Zwiers and Robert Pritchard, provide strategies for improving talk in the classroom. In “Three Strategies for Enriching the Quantity and Quality of Classroom Talk,” they write: