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Deborah Loewenberg Ball

William H. Payne Collegiate Professor of Education and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Marsal Family School of Education; Research Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research



Room 4002
610 E. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

Deborah Loewenberg Ball is the William H. Payne Collegiate Professor of education at the University of Michigan, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, a research professor in the Institute for Social Research, and the director of TeachingWorks. She taught elementary school for more than 15 years, and continues to teach children every summer. Ball’s research focuses on the practice of teaching, using elementary mathematics as a critical context for investigating the challenges of building relationships with children and helping children develop agency and understanding, and on leveraging the power of teaching to disrupt racism, marginalization, and inequity. Ball is an expert on teacher education, and her current work centers on ways to improve the quality of beginning teaching to advance justice. 

Ball has authored more than 150 publications and has lectured and made major presentations around the world. She has also developed distinctive collections of video records of practice that are broadly used to make practice visible. Her research has been recognized with several awards and honors, and she has served on national and international commissions and panels focused on the improvement of education. She served as president of the American Educational Research Association from 2017 to 2018, as a member of the National Science Board from 2013 to 2018, and as dean of the University of Michigan Marsal Family School of Education from 2005 to 2016. Ball has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Education, and is a fellow of the American Mathematical Society and the American Educational Research Association.

Selected Publications

"Possible futures: Coming to terms with the power of teaching."

Ball, D. L. (2022). Phi Delta Kappan, 103(7), 51–55.

"Formatively assessing prospective teachers’ skills in leading mathematics discussions."

Shaughnessy, M., Garcia, N. M., O’Neill, M. K., Selling, S. K., Willis, A. T., Wilkes, C. E., Salazar, S. B., & Ball, D. L. (2021). Educational Studies in Mathematics, 108, 451–472.

"The work of teaching and the challenge for teacher education."

Ball, D. L., & Forzani, F. M. (2009). Journal of Teacher Education, 60(5), 497–511.

"Content knowledge for teaching: What makes it special?"

Ball, D. L., Thames, M. H., & Phelps, G. (2008). Journal of Teacher Education, 59(5), 389–407.

"Unpacking “pedagogical content knowledge”: Conceptualizing and measuring teachers’ topic-specific knowledge of students."

Hill, H., Ball, D. L., & Schilling, S. G. (2008). Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 39(4), 372–400.

"Effects of teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching on student achievement."

Hill, H. C., Rowan, B., & Ball, D. L. (2005). American Educational Research Journal, 42(2), 371–406.

"Developing practice, developing practitioners: Toward a practice-based theory of professional education."

Ball, D. L. & Cohen, D. K. (1999). In G. Sykes & L. Darling-Hammond (Eds.), Teaching as the learning profession: Handbook of policy and practice (pp. 3–32). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

"Reform by the book: What is—or might be—the role of curriculum materials in teacher learning and instructional reform?"

Ball, D. L., & Cohen, D. K. (1996). Educational Researcher, 25(9), 6–8, 14.


What is the core work of teaching, and what is required to learn it and to do it? Developing answers to these questions is at the center of our mission at TeachingWorks.


Award Start Date
Jul 01, 2020
Award End Date
Jun 30, 2025
Award Start Date
Dec 02, 2018
Award End Date
Jun 30, 2022
Award Start Date
Sep 15, 2018
Award End Date
Aug 31, 2024
Award Start Date
Sep 01, 2018
Award End Date
Dec 31, 2023