Educational Psychology Faculty


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237 Dickey Hall
Lexington, KY 40506-0017
(859) 257-7404
(859) 257-5662 (fax)
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Educational Psychology Faculty

Fred Danner, Professor, (vita) received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Minnesota. His areas of research interest include cognitive development, adolescence, motivation, health psychology, the relationship between fitness and intellectual performance, positive emotions and health, and the effects of sleep deprivation on learning and behavior. Dr. Danner teaches courses in cognitive development, life span human development, learning, educational psychology, and adults as learners. His research orientation is primarily cognitive-behavioral. Full Graduate Faculty.  Email:

Thomas Guskey, Professor, (vita in Word) began his career in education as a middle school teacher, served as an administrator in Chicago Public Schools, and was the first director of the Center for the Improvement of Teaching and Learning, a national educational research center.  A graduate of the University of Chicago, he served on the Policy Research Team of the National Commission on Teaching & America's Future, on the Task Force to develop the National Standards for Staff Development, and is a Fellow in the American Educational 

Research Association. His research and writing focus primarily on professional development and teacher change, program evaluation, assessment of student learning, grading and reporting, instructional effectiveness, and educational reform. Dr. Guskey’s publications include 18 books, 38 book chapters, and over 200 journal articles and professional papers.  His most recent books include Answers to Essential Questions about Standards, Assessments, Grading, and Reporting (with L. Jung) (2013), Benjamin S. Bloom: Portraits of an Educator (2nd ed.) (2012), Developing Standards-Based Report Cards (with J. Bailey) (2010), Practical Solutions for Serious Problems in Standards-Based Grading (Ed.)  (2009), The Principal as Assessment Leader (Ed.) (2009), and The Teacher as Assessment Leader (Ed.) (2009). His course offerings center on research and evalu

ation design, quantitative analysis techniques, and educational reform and change.  Dr. Guskey holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, M.Ed. in Educational Psychology from Boston College, and a B.A. in Physics from Thiel College.  Email:

Xin Ma, Professor, (vita in Word) holds a Masters in Mathematics Education and a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of British Columbia in Canada.  He taught education statistics and mathematics education at St. Francis Xavier University and the University of Alberta in Canada. Dr. Ma teaches courses in advanced statistics (e.g., meta analysis, multilevel data analysis, and data mining techniques) and mathematics education at the University of Kentucky.  He is a Spencer Fellow of the (U.S.) National Academy of Education, a recipient of the Early Career Contribution Award from the American Educational Research Association, (former) Canada Research Chair, and founder and (former) Director of the Canadian Center for Advanced Studies of National Databases.  His research interests include advanced statistical (quantitative) methods, advanced data analysis of large-scale (state, national, and international) surveys, psychology of mathematics education, program evaluation and policy analysis, and organizational (school) effectiveness and improvement.  He works to advance quantitative research, using latest statistical theories and models to improve and enhance quantitative analysis on critical issues in educational policy and practice.  Among his numerous publications, he is author of the book A national assessment of mathematics participation in the United States: A survival analysis model for describing students' academic careers.  Email:

Michael Toland(vita in Word) Associate Professor received his PhD in Quantitative, Qualitative, and Psychometric Methods (QQPM) from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 2008. His research is focused on three areas: 1) the development, evaluation, and refinement of multi-item instruments using classical test theory, factor analytic models, and item response theory; 2) application of multilevel models to complex data structures; 3) evaluation of quantitative techniques.  Ultimately, Dr. Toland is interested in research that allows him to collaborate, apply various measurement and statistical techniques, and share his quantitative knowledge with others.  Dr. Toland teaches courses in measurement (e.g., introductory measurement and IRT), statistics (e.g., introductory statistics, intermediate statistics, and multivariate statistics), and research design. Quantitative Courses Link  He is an associate member of the Graduate Faculty.  Email:

Kenneth M. Tyler, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, (vita in Word) received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Howard University in 2002. Dr. Tyler has broad areas of research interests that include culture, identity development, learning and socialization processes, motivation and school attachment, and minority student achievement. Dr. Tyler's current work focuses on 1) measuring the degree of alignment between home and school cultures of minority student populations and understanding its link to academic motivation and performance and 2) testing a conceptual model of African American male student identity development and its associations with psychological and school performance outcomes. Full member of the Graduate Faculty.  Email:

Ellen L. Usher, Associate Professor and Educational Psychology Program Area Chair, received her PhD in Educational Studies from Emory University in 2007. Her research focuses on the sources and effects of beliefs of personal efficacy from the perspective of social cognitive theory. She is the research director of the P20 Motivation and Learning Lab, which aims to examine academic motivation in a variety of contexts and to identify practices that best promote and sustain the motivation students need to acquire skills essential for success and well-being in the 21st century. Dr. Usher teaches courses in educational psychology, learning theories, and motivation. She is a full member of the Graduate Faculty.  Email: