Douglas Mac Iver is a research professor in the School of Education’s Center for the Social Organization of Schools. A developmental psychologist, he has spent 35 years evaluating and developing programs and policies that aim to change classrooms, middle schools and high schools, districts and communities so that more students stay on a path toward on-time high school graduation and career and college readiness. He has published over 40 research articles, chapters, books and monographs on comprehensive reforms in middle schools and high schools aimed at preventing disciplinary problems, course failures, student disengagement and dropping out, and on the implementation and impacts of targeted interventions that increase engagement, reduce stress, and enhance student success during early and later adolescence.
He is one of the founders of the Talent Development Secondary Program, and led that program’s comprehensive school reform work in the middle grades for 15 years. His most recent publications report findings from randomized control trials testing restorative practices, a promising solution to the persistent disciplinary problems that plague many of the secondary schools serving high-poverty neighborhoods in big cities, and testing Diplomas Now, a secondary-school transformation model that enhances student supports and strengthens learning environments, curriculum, instruction and professional development. He is also engaged in an Education Innovation and Research program that is refining and expanding a course that helps 8th graders self-manage their school success in preparation for high school.
He has won awards for his school development work and applied evaluation research, including a Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Community Service from Johns Hopkins and a Human Development Research Award from the American Educational Research Association’s Division E.
Keywords: Absenteeism; achievement gap; dropout prevention; high schools; reading and literacy; curriculum; middle grades education; whole school reforms in the middle and secondary grades; restorative practices; success skills; social-emotional learning; mathematics reform; student engagement interventions.