About Us

DifferentiationCentral is a service of the Institutes on Academic Diversity (IAD) at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. Created in 1996, the goal of the IAD is to help educators understand the principles of Differentiated Instruction and develop competence and confidence in creating responsive classrooms that meet the diverse learning needs of today’s students.

Carol Ann Tomlinson, Ed.D. is William Clay Parrish, Jr. Professor and Chair of Educational Leadership, Foundations, and Policy at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education where she is also Co-Director of the University’s Institutes on Academic Diversity. Prior to joining the faculty at UVa, she was a public school teacher for 21 years. During that time, she taught students in high school, preschool, and middle school and also administered programs for struggling and advanced learners. She was Virginia’s Teacher of the Year in 1974. Carol is author of over 300 books, book chapters, articles, and other educational materials. She was named Outstanding Professor at Curry in 2004 and received an All-University Teaching Award in 2008. In 2016, she was ranked #16 in the Education Week Edu-Scholar Public Presence Rankings for “University-based academics who are contributing most substantially to public debates about schools and schooling,” and as the #3 voice in Educational Psychology. She works throughout the United States and internationally with educators who seek to create classrooms that are more effective with academically diverse student populations.


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Catherine Brighton, Ph.D., Co-Director of the Institutes on Academic Diversity, is Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Student Affairs, Associate Professor in the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, and Co-Principal Investigator on two sponsored research projects focused on teachers’ use of literacy data to inform instruction. She earned her doctorate in Educational Psychology (Gifted Education emphasis) at the University of Virginia. Prior to that, she served as a curriculum coordinator/assistant principal, teacher of the gifted, and classroom teacher in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, (Charlotte, NC). She is the Past-President of the Virginia Association for the Gifted, Treasurer of the American Educational Research Association, Special Interest Group in Research for Giftedness and Talent, and the former Program Chair for the Research and Evaluation Division of the National Association for Gifted Children, from whom she received the 2005 Early Leader Award.


Tonya R. Moon
Tonya R. Moon, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia and a co-director of the Institutes on Academic Diversity. Tonya spends her professional career actively engaged in teaching assessment, research, and statistics courses at the University and conducting research in K-12 classrooms investigating teachers’ use of data for designing instructional actions. Tonya has published and presented widely on the topics of assessment, differentiation, identification of gifted students, and program evaluation. She is the co-author with Carol Tomlinson on the ASCD text, Assessment and Student Success in a Differentiated Classroom, and the author of a chapter on differentiation and assessment within a diverse classroom setting in the recently released Handbook of Human and Social Factors in Assessment. She works both nationally and internationally with educators on issues associated with assessment.


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