Jerald (Jay) Thomas, EdD

Jerald ThomasAssociate Professor of Education/Faculty Assessment Coordinator
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Office Location: Institute for Collaboration, Room 223
Telephone: 630-844-6231
Email Address:

Teaching Philosphy 
My teaching and my research are heavily influenced by William Perry’s work at Harvard. I believe that our most meaningful learning occurs when we are forced to reconcile authoritative perspectives that conflict. We can simply accept that there are differences in perspective – think about a conversation between Freud and BF Skinner, for example. But learning goes beyond what the experts say: learning occurs when we actively evaluate new knowledge and constantly generate a new understanding of how the world works.

BA Psychology - Aurora University
MSEd Foundations of Education - Northern Illinois University
EdD Educational Psychology - Northern Illinois University

Areas of Specialization
Gifted education
Quantitative research methods

Courses Taught
Educational Psychology
Motivation, Creativity, and the Self
Philosophical Foundations of Education
Advanced Educational Psychology
Adolescent Development and Learning
The Individual, Cognition, and Learning
Quantitative Educational Research I
Educational Reform and Renewal
Principles and Practices of Assessment and Program Evaluation

Highlights of Publications, Honors and Professional Contributions
Matsko, V. & Thomas, J.A. (2014). The Problem is the solution: Creating original problems in gifted mathematics classes. Journal for the Education of the Gifted37(2), 153-170.
Thomas, J.A. What does listening look like? (Manuscript submitted for review).
Fee, J.F., Piro, J.L., Prolman, S., & Thomas, J.A. (2009). Forging a diverse research community by marrying an odd couple: Qualitative research and business-oriented project management processes. Journal of Academic Administration in Higher Education.
Musial, D., Thomas, J., & Niemenen, G. (2008). Foundations of meaningful educational assessment. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Thomas, J.A. (2008). Reviving Perry: Epistemological change in gifted students. Gifted Child Quarterly, 52, 1, 87-98.
Atkinson, R., Lundgren, D., Hugo, J., Shapiro, M. & Thomas, J.A. (2007). Addressing the STEM challenge by expanding specialty math and science high schools. NCSSSMMST Journal, 12, 2, 14-23.
Thomas, J.A. (2002) From the Ivy League to the big leagues: A history of sport in America's elite colleges. The National Pastime, 24, 59-65.

Highlights of Campus Involvement
Faculty senate
Chair - University Assessment Committee
Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Other Interests
Minor league baseball
Reading - baseball-related stuff, P.G. Wodehouse, Thomas Merton, et al.