Christopher Tienken, Ed.D.

Associate Professor
College of Human Development Culture and Media

Christopher Tienken, Ed.D. is an associate professor of leadership, management, and policy and education consultant. He has public school administration experience as a PK-12 assistant superintendent, middle school principal, director of curriculum and instruction, and elementary school assistant principal. He began his career in education as an elementary school teacher. He is the Research Professor in Residence for the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).

Tienken’s research interests focus on curriculum and assessment policy and practice at the local, state, national, and international levels. Tienken was appointed as an External Member of the Faculty at the University of Catania, Italy, in the Department of Education Sciences in 2023 and also serves as an external reviewer for the Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes (ANVUR). He was selected in 2019 as the Lead Author and Principal Investigator for the AASA Decennial Study of the Superintendent and was invited to be a member of the Professors of Curriculum organization in 2015. The Seton Hall College of Education and Human Services named him Researcher of the Year in 2020 and 2014 and Tienken received the Truman Kelley Award for Outstanding Scholarship from Kappa Delta Pi in 2013. The Institute of Education Sciences recognized his research about the effects of professional development on student achievement and the National Staff Development Council (Learning Forward) awarded him the Best Research Award in 2008.

Tienken has authored over 130 publications including book chapters and articles. His third book, Defying Standardization: Creating Curriculum for an Uncertain Future was awarded Outstanding Book by the Society of Professors of Education in 2019. His latest books include Cracking the Code of Education Reform: Creative Compliance and Ethical Leadership (2020), The School Reform Landscape Reloaded: More Fraud, Myths, and Lies (2021), and The Risky Business of Education Policy, an edited volume with Carol Mullen (2022).

Tienken presents papers regularly at state, national, international, and private venues and consults with public schools in the U.S. and international schools on three continents to improve educational equity for all students. He has ongoing research collaborations with colleagues at the Universita` degli Studi Roma Tre, Rome, Italy, the University of Catania, Sicily, and he has been named as a visiting professor at both universities.