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Dr. Pianta is Dean of the Curry School of Education, as well as the Novartis Professor of Education and Director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, University of Virginia. A former special education teacher, Dr. Pianta's research focuses on investigating the effects of schooling on children's social and academic outcomes and on improving school and classroom experiences through teachers' professional development. He has been involved in developing observational assessments of classrooms and observationally-based systems for professional development. Dr. Pianta has been a principal investigator on several major research and training grants and is also Editor of the Journal of School Psychology. He is the author of more than two hundred journal articles, chapters, and books in the areas of early childhood development, transition to school, school readiness, and parent-child and teacher-child relationships, and he consults regularly with Federal agencies, Foundations, and universities.