Timothy Knowles

Pritzker Director, University of Chicago Urban Labs

About Timothy Knowles

Dr. Timothy Knowles serves as the Pritzker Director of The University of Chicago Urban Labs. He also serves as Chairman of the Urban Education Institute (UEI) and John Dewey Clinical Professor. The UEI is dedicated to creating knowledge to produce reliably excellent schooling for children growing up in urban America. The UEI addresses this question in four ways: by undertaking rigorous applied research led by the Consortium on Chicago School Research; developing urban teachers and leaders through its Urban Teacher Education Program; operating the four campuses of the University of Chicago Charter School; and designing scaleable tools and ideas to improve teaching, learning and leadership.

Prior to coming to Chicago, Tim served as Deputy Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. While in Boston, he created two organizations devoted to building the pipeline of high quality teachers and school leaders for Boston Public Schools and served as co-director of the Boston Annenberg Challenge, a nationally recognized effort to improve literacy instruction.

Prior to his work in Boston he founded and directed a full-service K-8 school in Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York City. He also served as the founding director of Teach For America in New York City, and a teacher of African History in Botswana.

He has written and spoken extensively on the topics of school leadership, teacher quality, school reform, and accountability in public schools. Tim received his B.A. in anthropology and African history from Oberlin College and an M.A. and doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.