Psychometric Methods, Educational Statistics, and Research Methods (Psychometrics)
Faculty and Affiliates
Professor Sharon F. Rallis
Dr. Sharon F. Rallis is the Dwight W. Allen Distinguished Professor of Educational Policy and Reform in the Department of Education Policy, Research and Administration at UMass, Amherst where she teaches courses in inquiry, program evaluation, qualitative methodology, and organizational theory. She serves as director of the Center for Education Policy and is associated with the Center for International Education and the Center for Educational Assessment. Over her more than 40 years working in education, Sharon has taught and counseled in U.S. K-12 public schools, been a school principal, served on a local school board, directed a U.S. federal school reform initiative, and held faculty positions at Vanderbilt University, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the University of Connecticut. In 2005, Sharon served as the President of the American Evaluation Association.
With an aim to inform and contribute to program improvement, she is interested in applied research. As an evaluator, she connects theory, research, and practice through conducting evaluation. Sharon's expertise lies in methodology (qualitative research and program evaluation), and organizational theory and change. For over three decades she has conducted research and evaluations of educational, medical, and social organizations, agencies, and programs. She has worked with governmental agencies, foundations, service organizations and other non-profits, and school districts. Her work in evaluation is internationally known due to invited work and publications in China, Canada, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Japan.
Because she views writing as a dialogic learning experience, she prefers to write with others; thus, her numerous publications include several books co-authored with colleagues and former students. With Gretchen Rossman, Rallis has written: Learning in the Field: An Introduction to Qualitative Research (Sage Publications), a widely used methodology text soon to appear in its 3rd edition; Dynamic Teachers (which has been translated into Chinese); Leading Dynamic Schools: How to Create and Implement Ethical Policies (also co-authored with a former student); as well as numerous chapters and articles. Her recent publications include several journal articles and book chapters discussing ethical practice in qualitative research, and her newest book with Rossman is based on their course, Introduction to Inquiry. She also co-authored several publications (including the book, Leading with Inquiry and Action) with a former UMass professor Matt Militello, which drew on their experiences as both as principals and as researchers studying the role of leadership in school reform.