Pamela Moss


Pamela  Moss, School of Education

Pamela Moss’s work lies at the intersections of educational assessment, philosophy of social science, and interpretive or qualitative research methods. Her approach to the study of assessment engages the critical potential of dialogue across research discourses--educational measurement, hermeneutics and critical theory, and sociocultural studies--sometimes to complement, sometimes to challenge established theory and practice in assessment. Her current research agenda focuses on validity theory in educational assessment, assessment as a social practice, and approaches to methodological pluralism in research policy and practice.

Since 2001, she has been engaged in a series of multidisciplinary dialogues with colleagues to theorize and research assessment as an interacting element of a social environment. This includes attention to the ways in which conventional assessment instruments are taken up and used in local contexts as well as the ways in which practitioners use evidence of learning and the factors that shape it to address questions guiding their practice. These dialogues have resulted in two edited books, Evidence and Decision Making (2007) and Assessment, Equity, and Opportunity to Learn (2008), and miscellaneous papers. Evidence and Decision Making illuminates the crucial roles that teachers, administrators, and other education professionals play in constructing and using evidence to make decisions that support learning. Assessment, Equity, and Opportunity to Learn reflects a multi-year collaboration, funded by the Spencer Foundation, which explored the synergies and disjunctions between psychometric and sociocultural orientations to opportunity to learn and assessment. She has extended this work to focus on methodological pluralism in education research more generally, most recently with a co-authored chapter on methodology for the 5th Handbook of Research on Teaching, forthcoming from AERA in 2016.

Moss is a member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association. She was a member of the joint committee revising the 1999 AERA, APA, NCME Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, of the National Research Council's Committee on Assessment and Teacher Quality, and chair of AERA's Task Force on Standards for Reporting on Empirical Social Science Research in AERA Publications. She has served on technical advisory committees for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the Interstate New Teacher Support and Assessment Consortium, and the student testing programs in New York and California. She is co-founder and co-editor of the journal, Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspective.

Moss teaches courses in the following program(s):
Educational Policy, Leadership, and Innovation
Educational Foundations and Policy
Program Evaluation and Improvement Research


Selected Publications


Moss, P. A., Pullin, D., Haertel, E. H., Gee, J. P., and Young, L. (Eds.) (2008). Assessment, equity, and opportunity to learn. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Moss, P. A. (Ed.) (2007). Evidence and decision making.  The 106th yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Part  I. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.


Moss, P. A. (2010). "Thinking systemically about assessment practice." In M. Kennedy (Ed.), Teacher Assessment and Teacher Quality. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Moss, P.A., Phillips, D. C., Erickson, F. D., Floden, R. E., Lather, P. A., and Schneider, B. L. (2009). "Learning from our differences:  A dialogue across perspectives on quality in educational research." Educational Researcher, 38 (6) 501-517.

Mislevy, R. M., Moss, P. A., and Gee, J. P. (2009). "On qualitative and quantitative reasoning in validity." In K. Ercikan and M. Wolff-Roth (Eds), Generalizing from educational research: Beyond the Quantitative-Qualitative Opposition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 

Moss, P. A. (2008). "Reconstructing validity." Educational Researcher36 (8), 470-476.

Moss, P. A., Girard, B., Haniford, L. (2006). "Validity in educational assessment." Review of Research in Education, 30, 109-162. 




1/1/2019 - ongoing Prototyping and Evaluating a Living Research Synthesis Infrastructure
Granting Agency: Spencer Foundation

7/1/2010 - 1/7/2013 Developing Mathematics Teaching through Focused Collaborative Assessment of Practice
Granting Agency: U.S. Department of Education/Institute of Education Sciences

7/1/2006 - 1/1/2012 Developing an Integrative Assessment System for Elementary Teacher Education
Granting Agency: National Science Foundation

2/1/2002 - 1/1/2007 Evaluating the Validity of Teacher Licensure Decisions
Granting Agency: Office of Educational Research and Improvement

2/1/2001 - 1/1/2006 The Idea of Testing: Expanding the Foundation of Educational Measurement
Granting Agency: Spencer Foundation

2/1/1997 - 1/1/2005 Developing Coherence Between Assessment and Reform: A Role for Hermeneutics in the Licensing and Professional Development of Teachers
Granting Agency: Spencer Foundation


Room 4220
Mailbox 4215/4218