Though Eric's work is interdisciplinary and his outlets varied, he is driven by a singular objective:
enhancing rigor, responsiveness, & equity in middle & high school teaching & learning.
He is particularly interested in helping educators learn to use student-centered approaches that diminish and eventually eliminate the education debt owed to our least served students.
Dr. Toshalis believes that our glaring disproportionate academic and disciplinary outcomes suggest the need for greater commitment, creativity, and effort from the adults who staff, support, and direct our educational institutions. Some may recoil at this suggestion and worry that it participates in the relentless blame-the-teacher rhetoric that pervades education these days. Indeed, we should all be very careful about how we frame problems and locate solutions in our schools because the stakes for getting it wrong are high.
But Dr. Toshalis is not interested in blaming teachers; rather, he's invested in supporting teachers, advocating for them, and raising the profile and impact of the profession. That's why he approaches our education debt and the current disproportionality in outcomes as an opportunity—a chance to reorient our schools toward research-driven practices that prioritize equity.
If you're paying attention to the news and you're looking at the data, it's clear we need to do a far better job at meeting the needs and enhancing the gifts of our most marginalized students, and Dr. Toshalis knows it will be the hard work and expertise of professional educators that will ultimately make this happen.
In addition to his books, you'll find links in these pages to his many publications and media appearances that support this effort.