University of Pittsburgh
October 5, 2008

Pitt's Learning Research and Development Center Names Associate Director

Mary Kay Stein is the new associate director for educational research and practice
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Mary Kay Stein, professor of learning policy in the University of Pittsburgh School of Education and senior scientist in Pitt's Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC), has been named associate director for educational research and practice in LRDC.

"Mary Kay Stein has contributed significantly to LRDC's goal of linking learning science to education," said Charles A. Perfetti, director of LRDC and professor in Pitt's Department of Psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences. "Her expertise in mathematics instruction, teacher development, and the relationship between the policies and practices of teaching and learning matches perfectly with LRDC's educational research and practice goals."

Stein's research interests are in classroom-based teaching and learning in mathematics, teacher development, social and organizational influences on teaching and learning, and the relationship between policy and practice. She is the founding director of Pitt School of Education's Learning Policy Center (LPC) and spearheaded the Learning Science and Policy PhD program, whose goal is to advance ideas that lay at the intersection of policy and learning.

Pitt's LPC utilizes Pitt's School of Education, LRDC, Institute for Learning, and other regional assets to connect high-quality learning research with education policy decision makers. The mission of LPC is to foster high-quality learning environments for both students and professionals in public schools.

Prior to joining the University in 1980, Stein served as assistant to the dean of Student Affairs at Pennsylvania State University (PSU) in Altoona from 1976 to 1978 and at PSU New Kensington from 1978 to 1980.

Stein earned a BS degree in rehabilitation education and an ME degree in counselor education at PSU in 1975 and 1976, respectively, and a PhD degree in educational psychology at Pitt in 1986.