Carol A. Tomlinson

William Clay Parrish Jr. Professor; Chair, Dept. of Education Leadership, Foundations, and Policy


  • Ed.D., University of Virginia, 1991
  • M.Ed., University of Virginia, 1972
  • B.A., University of South Carolina, 1965

Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson is William Clay Parrish Jr. Professor and Chair of Educational Leadership, Foundations, and Policy. She teaches courses for Leadership, Foundations, and Policy and for Curriculum and Instruction as well as serving as Co-Director of Curry’s Institute on Academic Diversity. Prior to joining the faculty at Curry, she was a public school teacher for 21 years, including middle school, high school,and preschool. She was named Virginia’s Teacher of the Year in 1974, Outstanding Professor at Curry in 2004, and received an All-University Teaching Award in 2008. She is author of 15 books on the topics of differentiated instruction and curriculum as well as many professional development materials and over 200 articles. Her books have been translated into 12 languages.

Research Interests


Major research interests include differentiation of instruction for academically diverse learners including teacher and administrator attitudes and practices related to academic diversity, impacts of initial teacher preparation on novice teacher readiness to teach in academically diverse settings, impacts of varied school and teaching practices on low income and minority learners, and the change process in schools moving toward more academically responsive classrooms. More recently, she has also begun studying differentiation at the university level in teacher education as well as other disciplines.