"Education is a social process; education is growth; education is not a preparation for life but is life itself."

- John Dewey

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

- H. L. Mencken

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

- Martin Luther King


A North Carolina native and UNC Chapel Hill alumnus, Bill McDiarmid previously served as the Boeing Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Washington, Seattle. At UW, he led the Carnegie-funded “Teachers for a New Era” project, a national initiative to use evidence, such as performance assessments of preservice teachers, to improve teacher education. He also helped create the Teaching/Learning Partnership program to prepare mid-career changers to teach mathematics and science in Seattle's high-need middle schools.

Earlier in his career, McDiarmid served on the faculties of the University of Alaska-Anchorage, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and Michigan State University, taught high school history in Athens, Greece, and was a Title I teacher in a remote Alaska Native village. At Michigan State, he served as co-director of the National Center for Research on Teacher Learning. In Anchorage, he directed the Institute for Social and Economic Research. He was a visiting professor at Hebei Normal University in Shijiazhuang, China, in 2007.

His research has focused on teacher learning, particularly the preparation of teachers to work with diverse learners, and teacher education programs. He has received an Outstanding Research Award from the American Educational Research Association.

Bill McDiarmid earned an B.A. degree with Highest Honors in American Studies from Carolina in 1969. In 1984, he earned an Ed.D. degree in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. 

Educational Background

  • Ed.D. 1984 – Harvard University
  • B.A. 1969 – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Doctoral Program Affiliation(s)

Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction

Research Interests

  • Teacher Education
  • Subject Matter Learning in the Arts and Sciences
  • Policy Studies
  • Social Studies
  • Education of Alaska Natives
  • Alaska Native Educational History

Teaching Areas

  • Social Studies
  • Teacher Education
  • Teacher Preparation
  • Social Foundations
  • Research Methods

Honors & Awards

  • 1995, Outstanding Contribution to Interpretative Scholarship, American Educational Research Association

Funded Research

  • 2004-2009, Teachers for a New Era Project, Carnegie Corporation
  • 2002-2008, Evaluation of Rural-Urban Student Exchange, Alaska Humanities forum
  • 1999-2006, Title II Teacher Enhancement Project Evaluation, U.S. Department of Education

Selected Professional Affiliations

  • American Educational Research Association

Selected Publications

McDiarmid, G.W., David, J. & Associates (in press). Learning for reform: Professional development policies under Kentucky’s educational reforms. New York: Teachers College. 

McDiarmid, G.W. & Clevenger-Bright, M. (in press). Rethinking teacher capacity. In M. Cochran-Smith (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Teacher Education: Enduring Issues in Changing Contexts (3rd Edition). Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press.

Miller, M., McDiarmid. G,. & Luttrell-Montes, S. (2006). Partnering to prepare urban math and science teachers: Managing tensions. Teaching and Teacher Education, 22, 848-863.

Wasley, P. & McDiarmid, G. (2004). Connecting the Assessment of New Teachers to Student Learning and to Teacher Preparation. National commission on Teaching and America’s Future.

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