J. Douglas Willms


J. Douglas Willms
Canada Research Chair in Literacy and Human Development
President and CEO, The Learning Bar

Research Interest

J. Douglas Willms is a Professor at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and holds the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Literacy and Human Development. He is the President of the International Academy of Education, a Member of the US National Academy of Education, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is the President and CEO of The Learning Bar Inc., an international company that provides research-based tools and training for enhancing the life chances of children and youth.

Dr. Willms has published over two hundred research articles and monographs pertaining to youth literacy, children’s health, the accountability of schooling systems, and the assessment of national reforms. He played lead roles in developing Canada’s National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) and the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). He and his colleagues designed the Early Years Evaluation (EYE), an instrument for the direct assessment of children’s developmental skills at ages 3 to 6, and OurSchool, an evaluation system for the continuous monitoring of student engagement and well-being. Dr. Willms is the lead researcher in designing the contextual questionnaires for PISA for Development, an initiative for low- and middle-income countries aimed at tracking international educational targets in the post-2015 UN framework. His research team is also working with school leaders in 30 First Nations schools in the design and implementation of Confident Learners, a whole-school and whole-community literacy program based on the science of literacy and instructional practice.

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Ludger Woessmann


Ludger Woessmann

Professor of Economics, University of Munich
Director, Ifo Center for the Economics of Education

Bio and Research Interest

Ludger Woessmann is Professor of Economics at the University of Munich and Director of the Ifo Center for the Economics of Education at the Ifo Institute. His main research interests are the determinants of long-run prosperity and of student achievement. He uses microeconometric methods to answer applied, policy-relevant questions of the empirical economics of education, often using international student achievement tests. Special focusses address the importance of education for economic prosperity – individual and societal, historical and modern – and the importance of institutions of the school systems for efficiency and equity. Further research topics cover aspects of economic history, economics of religion, and the Internet. His work was rewarded, among others, with the Gossen Prize of the German Economic Association, the Young Economist Award of the European Economic Association, the EIB Prize of the European Investment Bank, and the Bruce H. Choppin Memorial Award of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement.

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Yong Zhao


Yong Zhaoe
Foundations Distinguished Professor, University of Kansas

Bio and Research Interest

Yong Zhao is a Foundations Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas. He is also a professorial fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, Victoria University in Australia. His works focus on the implications of globalization and technology on education.

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