James Nehring

James Nehring, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair, Professor, Leadership in Schooling

Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Education
(978) 934-4619


School level improvement and professional learning.

Research Interests

School level improvement and professional learning.


  • EDD: Teacher Education and School Improvement, (2003), University of Massachusetts Amherst - Amherst, MA, USA
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: The Liberal Impulse in American Schooling, Three Historical Case Studies.
  • Other: Social Studies Education, (1982), Brown University - Providence, RI
  • BA: English with High Distinction., (1980), University of Virginia. Junior year at University of Salzburg, Austria.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts Master Teacher (2013)
  • Fulbright Scholar in Northern Ireland Governance and Public Policy (2013), Scholarship/Research - Fulbright Program
  • Fulbright Award, 2013-2014 (2013), Scholarship/Research - US-UK Fulbright Commission
  • Faculty Teaching Excellence Award (2007), Teaching - Graduate School of Education, University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Alumni Distinction (1998), Teaching - Brown University, Department of Education

Selected Publications

  • Szczesiul, S.A., Nehring, J., Carey, T. (2015). Academic Task Demand in the 21st-Century, High-Stakes-Accountability School: Mapping the Journey From Poor [to Fair to Good to Great] to Excellent? Leadership and Policy in Schools, 14(4) 460-489.
  • Nehring, J. (2015). To Measure, or to Assess, Learning? Human Judgment Is Not the Problem, It’s the Solution. Education Week, 35(2) 19-20.
  • Nehring, J. (2015). Why Teach? : Notes and Questions From a Life in Education. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
  • Nehring, J. (2013). Think Education Is Like Medicine? Think Again. Education Week, 33(2) 32 - 28.
  • Nehring, J., O'Brien, E.J. (2012). Strong agents and weak systems: University support for school level improvement. Journal of Educational Change, 1-37.
  • Nehring, J. (2012). The Centrality of Context: Ted Sizer and the High Flying Adventure of Common Principle Six. Journal of Thought, 47(1) 57-65.
  • Nehring, J. (2011). Are we taking the wrong path? Phi Delta Kappan, 93(2).
  • Nehring, J., Fitzsimons, G. (2011). The professional learning community as subversive activity: Countering the culture of conventional schooling. Professional Development in Education, 37(4) 513-535.
  • Nehring, J., Laboy, W.T., Catarius, L. (2010). Connecting reflective practice, dialogic protocols, and professional learning. Professional Development in Education, 36(3) 399-420.
  • Nehring, J., Lohmeier, J.H. (2010). Leadership challenges converting a large high school to small schools: A follow-up study. NASSP Bulletin, 94(3) 184-212.
  • Nehring, J., Chesson, L.S. (2010). The nature of teacher leadership in a Boston pilot school by Laura S. Chesson.
  • Nehring, J., Lohmeier, J.H., Colombo, M. (2009). Conversion of a large, urban high school to small schools: Leadership challenges and opportunities. NASSP Bulletin, 93(1) 5-26.
  • Nehring, J. (2007). Conspiracy Theory: Lessons for Leaders from Two Centuries of School Reform. The Phi Delta Kappan, 88(6) 424-432.

Selected Presentations

  • Building Teacher Effectiveness Through the Use of Teacher Personal Narrative. - AACTE 68th Annual Meeting, February 2016 - Las Vegas, NV

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Redefining High Performance (2010), Grant - UML provosts Office
    Nehring, J.
  • Consulting Contracts with Public School Districts (2007), Contract -
    Nehring, J.
  • Cultivating Reflective Practice (2009), Grant - Theresa Paquin Adams Endowment
    Nehring, J. (Principal)
  • How to Develop Program Goals and Strategies for Faculty Study Groups (2009), -
    Nehring, J. (Principal)
  • Sessions with Principals (2008), Grant -
    Nehring, J. (Principal)
  • Book Study: Choosing Small, University Council on Pluralism and Diversity (2007), Grant -
    Nehring, J. (Co-Principal), Colombo, M. (Co-Principal)
  • University Seed Funding Program, Lawrence High School Transformation Study (2006), Grant -
    Nehring, J. (Principal)
  • (2003), - Milwaukee Public Schools
    Nehring, J. (Other)
  • Start-up Grant for North Central Charter Essential School (2002), Grant - Walton Family Foundation
    Nehring, J. (Co-Principal)
  • Center for Collaborative Education (1999), Grant - University of Southern Maine
    Nehring, J. (Other)
  • (1998), - Albany City Schools, Albany, NY
    Nehring, J.
  • Albany City Schools, Re. local school reform initiatives (1995), - Albany City Schools
    Nehring, J. (Other)