Calfee, Robert C. 1933-
As of 2008 Robert C. Calfee was distinguished professor of education and professor emeritus at the University of California at Riverside, where he also served as dean of the College of Education from 1998 to 2003. The majority of his career (1969–1998) was spent as an associate professor and professor in the School of Education at Stanford University, where he worked following his first faculty position in the Psychology Department at the University of Wisconsin at Madison (1964–1969). Educational research was enriched immeasurably when Calfee joined Stanford's School of Education.
Calfee earned his BA, MA, and PhD (1963) in experimental psychology at the University of California at Los Angeles, working mostly on learning tasks, often with the psychologist Richard C. Atkinson. Early work on the reading process, much with the reading researcher Richard Ven-ezky, brought Calfee into closer proximity with educational settings. When he turned full attention to the field of education he brought with him considerable knowledge about the psychology of reading, using the (then new) lens for the study of how individuals learn that was provided by cognitive psychology and information processing models of human learning. But he bought as well important methodological skills from his work in experimental psychology, and those interests subsequently influenced research design and assessment in educational research.
Education, in turn, gave Calfee a deeper understanding of school context and the organizational life of teachers, so that he gained deep knowledge of reading processes in the real world and respect for the difficulties of both teaching reading and learning to read in public school classrooms. Perhaps most important was his immersion in the Stanford environment, where both extraordinary faculty colleagues and a remarkable cadre of graduate students stretched his knowledge and were stretched by him as well.
From the 1980s on Calfee's career was more focused on applying cognitive psychology to reading and writing instruction and assessment; broad issues in educational policy but particularly reading policies; and school reform issues in California and across the United States. Much of this work was collaborative, with many of his students and co-authors going on to distinguished careers in reading research or related research areas. Calfee served the faculty at Stanford with turns as associate dean of research and director of the Stanford Center for Research and Development on Teaching. Subsequently he became director of Stanford's Teacher Education program and served as associate director of the Study of Stanford and the Schools, work that eventually transformed the nature of scholarship at Stanford. During this same period (the mid-1980s) Calfee also served as a member of the board of trustees of the Palo Alto Unified School District, marking him as an involved citizen/educator.
Calfee served as editor of the flagship journal in the field of educational psychology, the Journal of Educational Psychology (1985–1990), published by the American Psychological Association (APA). He also edited the journal Educational Assessment (1992–1998), and was coeditor of the first Handbook of Educational Psychology, published in 1996, by the Division of Educational Psychology of the APA. He served twice as a member of the board of directors of the National Society for the Study of Education (NSSE), and during these terms (1995– 1998; 2000–2004) he chaired the board twice. Calfee was named to the California Reading Association Hall of Fame (1992) and the International Reading Association Hall of Fame (1993). In 2003 the National Reading Conference awarded him the Oscar Causey Award for Outstanding Contributions to Reading Research. His advisory work and consulting has been at the national, state, and local levels of education, and he served as chairperson of the educational advisory board for LeapFrog Enterprises, an award-winning developer of educational products. As of 2008, Calfee was a Fellow of two divisions of APA, Experimental Psychology and Educational Psychology, and a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences.
Calfee's interests evolved over three decades from a focus on the psychology of verbal learning to concerns about the assessment of beginning literacy skills and eventually to a concern with the broader reach of the school as a literate environment. His theoretical efforts were directed toward the nature of human thought processes and the influence of language and literacy in the development of problem-solving and communication. At home in theory and in practice, in running true experiments or design experiments, in the board-room or the classroom, and in working with policymakers or teachers, Calfee proves himself to be a unique scholar. As of 2008, he continued to have a productive and engaged career.
Berliner, D. C., & Calfee, R. C. (1996). Handbook of educational psychology. New York: Macmillan.
Calfee, R. C. (1997). Assessing the development of learning over time. In J. Flood, S. B. Heath, & D. Lapp (Eds.). Handbook for literacy educators: Research on teaching the communicative and visual arts. New York: Macmillan.
Calfee, R. C. (1998). Leading middle-grade students from reading to writing. In R. C. Nelson, N., & Calfee, R. C. (Eds.), The reading-writing connection (National Society for the Study of Education). Chicago: Chicago University Press.
Calfee, R. C., & Norman, K. A. (in press). Psychological perspectives on the early reading wars: The case of phonological awareness. Teachers College Record (Special Issue).
Calfee, R. C., & Patrick, C. (1995). Teach our children well. Stanford, CA: Portable Stanford Series, Stanford Alumni Association.
Chambliss, M. J., & Calfee, R. C. (1998). Textbooks for learning: Nurturing children's minds. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Washington Virtual Academies
Tuition-free online school for Washington students.
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Child Development Theories
- GED Math Practice Test 1
- Graduation Inspiration: Top 10 Graduation Quotes
- The Homework Debate
- First Grade Sight Words List
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Social Cognitive Theory