Linda Darling-Hammond

LINDA DARLING-HAMMOND is Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University and Co-Director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Having served as faculty sponsor for the Stanford Teacher Education Program, Dr. Darling-Hammond also launched the Stanford Educational Leadership Institute and the School Redesign Network. Both a member of the National Academy of Education and past president of the American Educational Research Association, Darling-Hammond’s research, teaching, and policy work focus on issues of school restructuring, teacher quality and educational equity.

She was named one of the nation’s ten most influential people affecting education policy in the past decade. Awarded the 2010 Brock International Prize in Education for her contribution to the art and science of education, Dr. Darling-Hammond has authored more than 300 publications, most recently receiving the Grawemeyer Award (2012) for her book, The Flat World and Education.

For more information, visit Linda Darling-Hammond’s Website. To learn more about Linda Darling-Hammond from her family and friends, visit her Reflections. To view photographs from Linda Darling-Hammond’s personal collection, visit her Photo Gallery.


Visit the video below to watch a short overview of the interview with Linda Darling-Hammond. Otherwise, see all five of the full interviews with Linda Darling-Hammond below.

Video Interviews with Linda Darling-Hammond:

If you are unable to view videos on YouTube, please visit Interview Video Links.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio—the city known as “the mistake on the lake” due to rampant pollution, Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond remembers the impact of federal policies such as new math and “innovative, interesting curriculum [reforms]” on her own education. Crediting her quality public education with stimulating her interest in the teaching profession, Darling-Hammond also observed the “very different educational experiences” of many other students. As the first woman in her family to go to college, Darling-Hammond was also among the first women to attend Yale University. A talented musician, she also developed a passion for teaching and teacher education while working to desegregate suburban schools. Concerned about the accessibility of knowledge for teachers and, subsequently, their students, Darling-Hammond envisioned the teaching profession as a combination of “ability, dedication, commitment, and talent” coupled with excellent preparation for the classroom. Watch this clip to hear Dr. Darling-Hammond’s beautiful rendition of Claude Debussy’s Arabesque No. 1 on the piano and learn more about her concern for the inequalities plaguing public schools then and now.

Admitting she was woefully “under-prepared for teaching,” Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond found the factory model high schools, uneven distribution of resources, and lack of adequate support for teachers frustrating. Darling-Hammond honed her research skills while attending Temple University on a scholarship before meeting her husband, Allen.  Praised by her three children for her perseverance and devotion to her family, she worked to professionalize teaching while juggling the roles of wife, mother, and scholar. Described by her colleagues as a “dynamic educator,” Darling-Hammond characterizes herself first as a mother—always home for dinner and bedtime. In this clip of the show, find out more about Dr. Darling-Hammond’s role as an “institution builder” from those who know her best.

Described by a colleague as “a woman who can do everything and do it very well,” Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond worked to develop professional teaching standards, rejecting the old-fashion check list and multiple choice assessments. Instrumental as both an educator and scholar, Darling-Hammond and others founded a school before she joined academia first at Teachers College and later Stanford. As both a teacher and parent, she has “always wanted for other people’s children what she wanted for her own….” In this clip, learn more about Dr. Darling-Hammond’s assessment of the “teacher effect” in value-added measures.

Explaining the importance of both pedagogy and clinical experiences in a strong teacher preparation program, Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond collaborates with a variety of schools and districts while engaging in research and policy nationwide. Describing the “two different worlds” of policymakers and practitioners, she offers advice for legislators who seek to transform the public education system. Watch this clip to learn more about the most dangerous reforms for teachers in America today from Dr. Darling-Hammond.

Believing “you can’t stop working until the work is done…,” Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond’s support of quality public education is evident in the national requirement for highly qualified teachers. Characterizing teaching as a “work of art,” Darling-Hammond describes the complicated process of reform—comparing policy to sausage making! She also offers advice to graduate students, insisting they prepare academically and remain respectful of practitioners. In this clip, Dr. Darling-Hammond, known affectionately as “the tiger behind the smile,” shares her love for music and desire to make a difference.

Amrein-Beardsley, A. (2011, May 9). Inside the Academy video interviews with Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond [Video files]. Retrieved from http://insidetheacademy.asu.edu/linda-darling-hammond