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Christopher R. Gareis, Ed.D., is Professor of Educational Leadership at William & Mary in Virginia, where he teaches master’s and doctoral-level courses in curriculum development, instructional leadership, teacher mentoring, program evaluation, and classroom assessment and where he served as Associate Dean for Teacher Education for more than a decade.

Originally a high school English teacher and varsity soccer coach, Chris’ teaching is characterized by his effort to engage his students (and players) at the intersection of thinking and action. Chris was later drawn to the interdisciplinary design of the middle school model, at which level he taught English, science, and math, as well as serving in multiple teacher leadership roles. Chris went on to lead two different public middle schools as an assistant principal and then as principal. His leadership approach is guided by principles of curricular coherence, collective efficacy, balanced assessment, and fostering organizational cultures of trust.

Dr. Gareis’ scholarly interests focus on teacher supervision and evaluation, teacher efficacy, and classroom assessment. He is the author of numerous professional publications and co-author of four books. He is past-president of CREATE (the Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness), and he is the recipient of state and national awards for technology innovation (UCEA), educational research (VERA), excellence in leveraging and communicating about assessment (AERA, Division H), and curriculum leadership (VASCD).

Chris regularly consults with and provides professional development for teachers, principals, district leaders, and policymakers in the US and internationally. As a career-long advocate for teacher professionalism, Chris aims to leverage educators’ use of balanced assessment practices in ways that value psychometric soundness, student engagement, and deeper learning outcomes. Most recently, Dr. Gareis has been instrumental in the state-wide effort to reform the assessment practices and accountability policies in Virginia.

As an educational leader, Chris espouses the principle of embracing “a wholesome discontent with the status quo.” As a presenter, he holds to advice he was given nearly two decades ago: “Mean what you say, and have fun saying it.”

Selected Publications

Wren, D., & Gareis, C. R. (in publication 2019). Assessing deeper learning: Developing, implementing, and scoring performance tasks. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Tschannen-Moran, M., & Gareis, C. R. (2018). Discretion and trust in professional supervisory practices. In Zepeda, S., & Ponicell, J., Handbook for Educational Supervision. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley‑Blackwell.


Gareis, C. R., & Grant, L. W. (2015). Teacher-made assessments: How to connect curriculum, instruction, and student learning. (2nd edition). Oxford, United Kingdom: Routledge.


Gareis, C. R., & Grant, L. W. (2008). Teacher-made assessments: How to connect curriculum, instruction, and student learning. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.


Stronge, J. H., Gareis, C. R., & Little, C. A. (2006). Teacher pay and teacher quality: Attracting, developing, and retaining the best teachers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.


Tucker, P. D., Stronge, J. H., & Gareis, C. R. (2002). Handbook on teacher portfolios for evaluation and professional development. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.

Keynote Session

Thursday 12 September, 11.3am


Performance Assessment: The Promise of Assessing Deeper Learning

A focus on 21st century skills and future-ready students calls for a shift away from conventional assessments toward more authentic methods of assessing student learning, namely though the use of performance-based assessments.

While performance assessments are not new to education, the challenges of developing them within a standards-based curriculum and in an era of high-stakes accountability are. More importantly, high-quality performance assessments offer a rich opportunity to develop deeper learning outcomes for students.

Drawing on current research and practice in the United States, we will explore

  • The role of performance assessments in balanced approach to assessment,

  • A continuum of types of performance assessments, and

  • The relationship of performance assessment to deeper learning outcomes.


Along the way, we will also consider some of the pragmatic implications associated with educational policy, pedagogical practices, and instructional leadership.

Spotlight Session

Thursday 12 September, 1.30pm

A Closer Look at Promising Practices in Performance-Based Assessment

As professional teachers and educational leaders, we all know that a balanced approach to assessment just makes sense. Conventional assessments are great for objectively and efficiently assessing a breadth of student knowledge, skills, and understandings, but we need performance assessments if we’re going to tap complex, higher-order thinking and prompt deeper learning.

However, the intuitive appeal of performance assessments oftentimes belies the inherent challenges of creating and using them for teaching and learning. In this session, we will explore several key issues related to the design and development performance assessments, such as:

  • What does “authentic” mean when it comes to performance assessment?

  • What are the opportunities and challenges of student choice in producing their own representations of their thinking and learning?

  • How can we strengthen the accuracy and fairness of our evaluations of students’ performances?


Drawing upon examples from practice and a framework of quality criteria, we will take a closer look at these and other issues associated with the use of performance assessments. You will be encouraged to consider and identify promising practices that can support the effective use of performance assessments in your role.

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