Prior to coming to the University of Michigan in June 2007, Freeman was dean of the Department of Language Teacher Education and director of the Center for Teacher Education, Training, and Research, at the Graduate School for International Training in Vermont. His research interests focus on teacher learning, in the contexts of organizational and systemic reform, and its influence on student learning. He examines the development and use of teacher knowledge, particularly in the interrelationship between teacher learning and systemic change and the influences of teacher education on student learning. Methodologically, he studies the place of language as data in these learning processes, and how it can be used to trace influences across the interrelated domains of teacher education, classroom practices, and student learning.
His books include Doing Teacher-Research: From Inquiry to Understanding (Heinle-Thomson; 1998) and Teacher Learning in Language Teaching (co-edited with Jack C. Richards; Cambridge University Press, 1996), as well as a four-level student curriculum ICON- International Communication through English, with Kathleen Graves and Linda Lee (McGraw-Hill). He was series editor of the TeacherSource professional development series published by Heinle-Thomson. He serves on the editorial board of the Modern Language Journal and previously on the boards of the Educational Researcher and the TESOL Journal. He is past president of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and member of the University of Cambridge ESOL Advisory Council.