Eric Toshalis, EdD, senior research director at JFF, uses research and cross-disciplinary partnerships to help advance JFF’s goals and mission. Focusing primarily on translating research findings for educators and school leaders so that both may better understand and apply student-centered learning approaches in their work, his efforts support the Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative and the Students at the Center Distinguished Fellows program.
An award-winning public middle and high school teacher and university professor known nationally for his commitment to equity in the education of diverse adolescents and adults, he has served public education in multiple capacities over the past three decades as a mentor teacher, union president, teacher educator, community activist, curriculum writer, and researcher.
Erica is the author of Make Me! Understanding and Engaging Student Resistance in School (Harvard Education Press, 2015) and co-author of Understanding Youth: Adolescent Development for Educators (Harvard Education Press, 2006). He has made extensive contributions to the literature in secondary-level teaching and learning including articles in The Urban Review, Educational Leadership, Harvard Education Letter, NEA Today, and the Journal of Curriculum Studies. Eric was also the lead author of the “Motivation, Engagement and Student Voice” white paper, part of JFF’s Students at the Center series.
Eric received his bachelor's, teaching credential, and master's of education from the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as his master’s of theological studies from Harvard Divinity School and his doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.