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.
Robert Pianta discusses how to improve school and classroom experiences through teachers' professional development in his talk titled "Improving Impacts of Classrooms: Professional Development and Classroom Observation." November, 2008.