Barbara R. Blackburn Author of Evaluating Organization Development
FEATURED AUTHOR

Barbara R. Blackburn

Author and Consultant
Blackburn Consulting Group

Barbara has dedicated her life to improving motivation, instruction, and rigor for students and teachers alike. Ranked #4 in the Top 30 Global Gurus in Education, she has been a teacher, a professor, and a consultant. Currently author of 22 books, she is an international speaker, and she regularly works with schools and districts in the areas of rigor, assessment, differentiation, student motivation and engagement, and leadership.

Subjects: Education

Biography

Barbara has dedicated her life to raising the level of rigor and motivation for professional educators and students alike. What differentiates Barbara’s 22 books are her easily executable concrete examples based on decades of experience as a teacher, professor, and consultant. Barbara’s dedication to education was inspired in her early years by her parents, Bob and Rose. Her father’s doctorate and lifetime career as a professor taught her the importance of professional training. Her mother’s career as school secretary shaped Barbara’s appreciation of the effort all staff play in the education of every child.

Ranked #4 of the Top 30 Global Gurus in Education, Barbara has taught early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school students and has served as an educational consultant for three publishing companies. She received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Teaching from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2006, she received the award for Outstanding Junior Professor at Winthrop University. She recently left her position at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to write and speak full-time.

In addition to speaking at state and national conferences, she also regularly presents workshops for teachers and administrators in elementary, middle, and high schools. Her workshops are lively and engaging and filled with practical information.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Instructional Rigor, Rigorous Assessments, Differentiation and Rigor, Student Motivation and Engagement, School Leadership

Personal Interests

    Spending Time with Family, Writing, Reading, Watercolor Painting

Websites

Books

Articles

UKEdMagazine

3 Principles for Engaging Students


Published: Aug 27, 2018 by UKEdMagazine
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

How you can engage student at a higher level.

Middleweb

Creating an Inviting Classroom Environment


Published: Aug 18, 2018 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

Strategies and ideas for spicing up your classroom environment.

edCircuit

8 Characteristics of Effective Advocates


Published: Jul 31, 2018 by edCircuit
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn , Robert Blackburn, and Ron Williamson
Subjects: Education

How can you advocate for your school?

Routledge

Author of the Month; Rigor and Differentiation in the Classroom


Published: Jul 09, 2018 by Routledge
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

After being named Author of the Month, I responded to questions about my work and my inspiration.

edCircuit

3 Ways to Teach Students to Take Responsibility


Published: Jul 06, 2018 by edCircuit
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

Ideas for teaching students responsibility.

Middleweb

Assess Students Using Projects & Performance


Published: Jun 20, 2018 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

Using project and performance-based learning

EdCircuit

4 Creative Ways Writing Can Enhance Learning


Published: Jun 01, 2018 by EdCircuit
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

Excite students through writing!

EdCircuit

8 Keys to Effective Homework


Published: May 10, 2018 by EdCircuit
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

A variety of strategies to improve homework.

Middleweb

7 Ways to Help Students Self Assess Effectively


Published: May 08, 2018 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

Strategies for self-assessment.

Association of California School Administrators

Teacher-Focused Collaborative Professional Development


Published: May 02, 2018 by Association of California School Administrators
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn and Ron Williamson
Subjects: Education

How can you provide teachers with collaborative opportunities that meet their needs?

ASCD Express

Using Writing to Spark Learning in Math, Science, and Social Studies


Published: Apr 26, 2018 by ASCD Express
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn, Abbigail Armstrong, and Melissa Miles
Subjects: Education

Using writing to enhance learning in math, science, and social studies classrooms.

Middleweb

Communicate Effectively with Your School Board


Published: Apr 18, 2018 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn , Robert Blackburn, and Ron Williamson
Subjects: Education

Tips for communicating with your school board.

EdCircuit

7 Ways to Make Learning Fun


Published: Apr 06, 2018 by EdCircuit
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

In this article, we look at various strategies to excite students about learning.

Middleweb

8 Flexible Strategies for Formative Assessment


Published: Mar 13, 2018 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

How can you effectively use formative assessment?

Middleweb

3 Ways to Encourage Shared Teacher Learning


Published: Feb 11, 2018 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn and Ron Williamson
Subjects: Education

How can we help teachers share their learning?

EdCircuit

STEM/STEAM: Not Just for High School


Published: Jan 31, 2018 by EdCircuit
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

In this article we look at strategies for STEM and STEAM that work prior to high school.

Middleweb

8 Strategies to Quickly Assess Prior Knowledge


Published: Dec 31, 2017 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

Strategies for assessing prior knowledge.

Middleweb

Support Students to Be Accountable for Learning


Published: Dec 13, 2017 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn and Ron Williamson
Subjects: Education

How can we help students be accountable for their own learning?

Middleweb

Newbies: Don’t Forget 7 Grading Essentials


Published: Nov 05, 2017 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

Keys to effective grading.

EdCircuit

Rigor in the Differentiated Classroom


Published: Oct 24, 2017 by EdCircuit
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

In this article, we look at the relationship between rigor and differentiation.

Middleweb

Put Some Bang at the Beginning of Lessons


Published: Oct 03, 2017 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

Ideas for starting lessons.

Teachthought

4 Examples of Increasing Rigor in Summative Assessment


Published: Aug 28, 2017 by Teachthought
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

Examples for True-False, Essay Questions, and more.

Middleweb

5 Cool Ways for Students to Show What They Know


Published: Aug 01, 2017 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

Creative ways for students to demonstrate understanding.

Middleweb

6 Ways Teachers Can Stay Inspired This Year


Published: Jul 26, 2017 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

tips for staying motivated throughout the year.

Instructional Leader

Rigor and Assessment in the Classroom


Published: Jul 16, 2017 by Instructional Leader
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

What is rigorous assessment and how can you incorporate rigor in your assessments?

Middleweb

5 Keys to Motivating Struggling Learners


Published: Jun 20, 2017 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

How can we motivate students who struggle?

Middleweb

Tips for Working with Millennial Teachers


Published: May 28, 2017 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn and Ron Williamson
Subjects: Education

How to meet the needs of millennial teachers.

Middleweb

Four Myths about Rigor in the Classroom


Published: May 02, 2017 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

What are misconceptions about rigor?

Middleweb

5 Ways to Strengthen Student Resilience


Published: Apr 11, 2017 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

How to help students build resilience.

ASCD Express

Setting the Stage for Intrinsic Motivation


Published: Apr 10, 2017 by ASCD Express
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn and Abbigail Armstrong
Subjects: Education

Activating intrinsic motivation through value and success.

EdCircuit

Special Needs Students: Maintain Rigor


Published: Mar 29, 2017 by EdCircuit
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

In this article, we explore ideas for maintaining rigor for students with special needs.

Middleweb

Helping Students Track Their Own Progress


Published: Feb 28, 2017 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

Using self-reflection strategies.

EdCircuit

Effective Professional Development in Schools: What Works


Published: Feb 27, 2017 by EdCircuit
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

In this article, we discuss the key characteristics of effective professional development.

ASCD Express

Right-Sized Rigor


Published: Feb 09, 2017 by ASCD Express
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

What does rigor really look like?

Middleweb

Helping Students Pursue Dreams of Success


Published: Jan 18, 2017 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

How to tap into success for students.

EdCircuit

Rigor and Competency-Based Education


Published: Jan 03, 2017 by EdCircuit
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

In this article, we explore the relationship between rigor and competency-based instruction.

Teachthought

3 Statements that Describe Rigorous Assessment


Published: Oct 16, 2016 by Teachthought
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

What does rigorous assessment look like?

Middleweb

Modeling: What Students See Is What They Get


Published: Oct 11, 2016 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

The importance of and strategic for modeling.

Middleweb

Sustaining School Innovation Year After Year


Published: Sep 20, 2016 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn and Ron Williamson
Subjects: Education

How do you sustain the ideas you implement.

Middleweb

School Leadership: Finding the Right People


Published: Jul 31, 2016 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn and Ron Williamson
Subjects: Education

How can you hire the right people for the job?

Teachthought

3 Statements that Describe Rigorous Assessments


Published: Jul 29, 2016 by Teachthought
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

How can you determine if an assessment is rigorous?

Middleweb

What We Risk When We Jump To Conclusions


Published: Jun 26, 2016 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

The dangers of jumping to conclusions about students.

Middleweb

4 Summer Strategies for School Leaders


Published: Jun 21, 2016 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn and Ron Williamson
Subjects: Education

Ideas to prepare for the school year.

Teachthought

3 Simple Strategies for More Rigorous Assessment


Published: May 16, 2016 by Teachthought
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

Rigorous Teaching Strategies

Middleweb

Principals: Teaming with Families and Communities


Published: Apr 17, 2016 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn and Ron Williamson
Subjects: Education

Strategies for working with parents, families, and communities

Middleweb

Get Students Working Effectively in Groups


Published: Mar 13, 2016 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

Tips for working in groups.

Middleweb

5 Trends Impacting Middle Grades Leaders


Published: Feb 24, 2016 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn and Ron Williamson
Subjects: Education

What is happening now and in the future that impacts school leaders?

Teachthought

5 Questions to Evaluate Curriculum for Rigor


Published: Feb 09, 2016 by Teachthought
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

How can you determine if your curriculum is rigorous?

Middleweb

Rigor Made Easy: 3 Ways to Go Deeper


Published: Jan 31, 2016 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

Strategies for Increasing Rigor

Teachthought

7 Myths About Rigor in the Classroom


Published: Dec 28, 2015 by Teachthought
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

What are the most common misconceptions about rigor?

Middleweb

6 Characteristics of Effective Praise


Published: Dec 06, 2015 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

How can we effectively praise students?

Teachthought

How Technology Can Increase Rigor in the Classroom


Published: Nov 18, 2015 by Teachthought
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

Ideas for linking technology and rigor.

Middleweb

3 Strategies for Building Tween Resilience


Published: Oct 28, 2015 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

Easy-to-implement resilience instructional strategies.

Middleweb

4 Steps to Put School Data to Good Use


Published: Sep 13, 2015 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn and Ron Williamson
Subjects: Education

How can we effectively use data?

Middleweb

Creating a Vision for the School Year


Published: Aug 09, 2015 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn and Ron Williamson
Subjects: Education

How to create a vision for yourself and your teachers.

Middleweb

Do We Really Have High Expectations for All?


Published: Jul 28, 2015 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

The importance of high expectations.

Middleweb

How to Excel as a New Middle Level Principal


Published: Jul 13, 2015 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn and Ron Williamson
Subjects: Education

6 tips for new principals.

Curriculum in Context

5 Tools for Collaborative Professional Development


Published: Apr 16, 2015 by Curriculum in Context
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn and Ron Williamson
Subjects: Education

Specific Strategies for Effective Professional Development

Middleweb

Build a Rowboat Culture: 3 Tips for School Leaders


Published: Mar 04, 2015 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn and Ron Williamson
Subjects: Education

Ways to shape school culture.

District Administrator

Providing PD on a Budget


Published: Jan 06, 2015 by District Administrator
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn and Ron Williamson
Subjects: Education

Lower-cost options for professional development.

Middleweb

PAIRing with Parents to Improve Student Learning


Published: Oct 29, 2014 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn and Ron Williamson
Subjects: Education

Strategies for working with parents.

Middleweb

Relating Text Complexity to Rigor in the Classroom


Published: May 28, 2014 by Middleweb
Authors: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

How can you increase text complexity to rigorous levels.

News

Rigor Checks: Expert Reviews of Assessments

By: Barbara R. Blackburn
Subjects: Education

With the push for increased rigor in schools, it’s often difficult to tell what is and isn’t rigorous.  With her Rigor Check, Barbara brings her expertise to that problem with an expert review of instructional assessments. Customized for each school or district, Barbara reviews assignments, assessments, and/or instructional practices for rigor.  She then provides a written analysis, along with specific suggestions for next steps.  Barbara can complete an off-site review of the assignments and assessments, and she offers the option of on-site walk-throughs of instructional practices, as well as off-site reviews of recorded instruction. Additionally, she can train teachers and leaders on the process, which builds expertise, shared ownership and sustainability.