Ronald W. Marx

Ronald Marx (Ph.D. Stanford University) is Professor of Educational Psychology and former Dean of Education at the University of Arizona. His previous appointments were at Simon Fraser University and the University of Michigan, where he served as the chair of the Educational Studies Program and later as the co-director of the Center for Highly Interactive Computing in Education (winner of a Computerworld-Smithsonian Laureate recognition for innovation in educational technology) and the co-director of the Center for Learning Technologies in Urban Schools (winner of the Council of Great Cities’ Schools Urban Impact Award). His research focuses on how classrooms can be sites for learning that is highly motivated and cognitively engaging. In British Columbia, he conducted policy research that led to substantial reform of the province's schools. Since 1990, he has worked with computer scientists, science educators, scientists, and educational psychologists to enhance science education and to develop teacher professional development models to sustain long-term change. This work is highly collaborative with urban teachers and education leaders in order to create useable research findings that can support educational reform.  Since his appointment at the University of Arizona, his research has focused on early education and development—topics that animated his scholarship early in his career. Recent publications have examined technical issues in the measurement of children’s readiness for learning at kindergarten entry.

With his appointment as Dean of the University of Arizona College of Education in 2003, Prof. Marx worked to link the College’s research, teaching, and outreach activities closely to P-12 schools and school districts. The College of Education is home to innovative approaches to elementary teacher education, built around a full year of school-based preparation; secondary math and science teacher preparation in the Teach Arizona program, a one-year intensive master’s program designed for career changers; AILDI, the American Indian Language Development Institute; and nationally recognized programs in higher education, educational psychology, rehabilitation counseling, special education, and school psychology. Under Dean Marx’s leadership, the College of Education embarked on new programs of teaching, research, and outreach in early childhood education, educational leadership, indigenous education, language and reading, international and comparative education focusing on Latin America, and education in the borderlands. Under Dean Marx’s leadership, the College of Education partnered with Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University to secure a $11 million contract from 2009-2012 to evaluate Arizona’s First Things First program in early childhood health and development. Marx is involved in a number of education policy issues and served as a member of Gov. Janet Napolitano’s Committee on Teacher Quality and Support and as co-chair of the Teacher Committee of the Governor’s P-20 Council. More recently he was committee chair for the Arizona State Board of Education Task Force on Teacher and Principal Evaluation, a member of the US Department of Education Negotiated Rule Making Committee for the Higher Education Act, and is a member of the board of Directors of Tucson Values Teachers and co-founder of the Pima Cradle to Career initiative, an affiliate of the Strive Partnership.  Currently, Marx serves on the Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona.