David Osher

Vice President and Institute Fellow, AIR

David Osher is vice president and Institute Fellow at AIR. His work focuses on school climate and the conditions for learning, social and emotional learning, supportive and community-building approaches to school discipline and safety, cultural competence and responsiveness, implementation science, and the science of learning and development. His work includes both research and practice support and is both U.S.-based and global. He is principal investigator of AIR work regarding the science of learning and development, and AIR’s support for the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs, the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments, and the National Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Neglected or Delinquent Children and Youth. Both nationally and globally, Dr. Osher leads impact, implementation, and descriptive studies and evaluations that align qualitative and quantitative data.

Dr. Osher has authored or coauthored more than 300 books, monographs, chapters, articles, and reports and 200 peer-reviewed papers, symposia, and invitational presentations. These include a number of recent syntheses of the science of learning and development, which indicate the potential for robust equity as well as the institutionalized social processes that undermine equity. He authored “Thriving, Robust Equity, and Transformative Learning & Development” for The Forum for Youth Investment, and other articles for Applied Developmental Science. His recent books include Creating Safe, Equitable, Engaging Schools: A Comprehensive, Evidence-Based Approach to Supporting Students (Harvard Education Press); Keeping Students Safe and Helping Them Thrive: A Collaborative Handbook on School Safety, Mental Health, and Wellness (Praeger Publishers)and the forthcoming The Science of Learning and Development: Realizing the Promise of Every Child (Taylor & Francis).

Dr. Osher received his A.B., A.M., and Ph.D. from Columbia University, and he has served as dean of two professional schools of human services and a liberal arts college. He was the 2018 recipient of The Juanita Cunningham Evans Memorial Award for Contributions in School Mental Health and the Joseph Zins Distinguished Scholar Award for Outstanding Contributions to Action Research in Social and Emotional Learning.

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