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Lit, Ira

Ira Lit
Ira Lit
Academic Title 
Associate Professor (Teaching)
Other Titles 

Director, Stanford Elementary Teacher Education Program

Contact Information
(650) 725-2221
CE 327
Program Affiliations 
CTE: Teacher Education
Research Interests 
Credentialing / Preparation
Educational Equity
Elementary Education
Teacher Education and Certification

Research and practice focuses on teacher education, elementary education, educational equity, and the design and purpose of education and schooling, as well as the exploration of the educational experience of students often marginalized by the school context.

"We need to uncover, examine, and reconsider long-held assumptions and proclivities in teaching that may not foster the needs of our students. Such might include the organization of students into narrow, age-graded cohorts or the continuing penchant for a pedagogy that is teacher-directed and passive in nature. Can we rightfully expect one classroom teacher charged with the care of twenty to thirty diverse pupils to meet all of their disparate needs as well as the curricular demands of state and federal policy makers? Might our students be better served, for example, by teams of teachers with a shared responsibility for student development, each of whom possesses a narrower, but deeper knowledge base? In so doing we may find new and more fruitful pathways to reaching a wider range of students in our classrooms. We are more likely to engage and foster success in all of our children through a conception of teaching and schooling that respects and encourages the imaginative and the exploratory; one that is less concerned with codes, rules, and competition; and one that engages the social, physical, aesthetic, affective, and moral realms of human development as well as the intellectual. The current tenor of the educational times, with a hyper-attentiveness to a narrow range of academic pursuits and a focus on high-stakes testing, even of our very youngest students, pushes in the opposite direction, to the detriment of our children and the diminution of our larger society."

- "The Bus Kids" (Yale University Press, 2009)

  • Ph.D. (Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education) Stanford University, 2003
  • M.S.C. (California Multiple Subject Credential, Clear) College of Notre Dame, 1994
  • M.A. (Education) Stanford University, 1991
  • B.A. (Political Science) Stanford University, 1990

Executive Director, Teachers for a New Era, Bank Street College of Education (2005-2007)

Associate Director, STEP Elementary, Stanford University (1999–2004)

Elementary Classroom Teacher (1993-1999)

  • ED246E: Elementary Teaching Seminar: Exploring Teaching
  • ED246F: Elementary Teaching Seminar: Curriculum and Year-round Planning
  • ED246G: Elementary Teaching Seminar: Assessment
  • ED246H: Elementary Teaching Seminar: The Educational Landscape for Teaching
  • ED103(A): Exploring Elementary Education: Introduction to Issues in Teaching and Learning
  • ED103(B): Exploring Elementary Education: Introduction to Issues in Schooling, Curriculum, and the Education of Diverse Learners
  • Qualitative Research Methods (Asst.)
  • The Principles of Learning for Teaching (Asst.)
  • Civil Rights, Education and Poverty Issues (Asst.)

Current Syllabus:

Goldenberg, C., Hicks, J, & Lit, I. (2013). “Teaching Young Dual Language Learners.” America Educator.

Goldenberg, C., Hicks, J, & Lit, I. (2013). “Teaching Young English Learners.” In The Handbook of Research-Based Practice in Early Childhood Education. Reutzel, D., ed. New York: Guildford Press.

Lit, I. & Lotan, R. (2013). “A balancing act: dilemmas of implementing a high-stakes performance assessment.” The New Educator, 9(1), 54-76.

Lit, Ira & Snyder Jon. (2010). Principles and Exemplars for Integrating Developmental Sciences Knowledge into Educator Preparation. National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Snyder, J. & Lit, I. (2010). "Increasing the Application of Knowledge about Child and Adolescent Development and Learning in Educator Preparation Programs." Paper commissioned by the National Expert Panel on Child and Adolescent Development and Learning in Educator Preparation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Lit, I., Nager, N. & Snyder, J. (Winter, 2010). "If It Ain't Broke, Why Fix It? Framework and processes for engaging in constructive institutional development and renewal in the context of increasing standards, assessments and accountability for university-based teacher preparation." Teacher Education Quarterly.

Lit, I. (February 2009). The Bus Kids. Yale University Press.

Lit, I. & Snyder, J. (2007). "Disastrous Opportunity." In The Children Hurricane Katrina Left Behind: Schooling Contexts, Professional Preparation, and Community Politics (pp. 89-103), S. Robinson & M. Brown, eds. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Austin, K., Cheung, M., Darling-Hammond, L., Kirsch, E., Lit, I, Martin, D., et al. (2003). Annenberg/CPB course guide to The Learning Classroom: Theory Into Practice, a 13-part video- and Web-based course for teacher education and professional development. Session 4: "Different Kinds of Smart: Multiple Intelligences," Session 5: "Feelings Count: Emotions and Learning." Session 6: "The Classroom Mosaic: Culture and Learning," and Session 8: "Watch It, Do It, Know It: Cognitive Apprenticeship." Video materials produced by Mort Crim Communications, Inc. and WTVS Detroit Public Television. Course content developed by Stanford University, School of Education.