Bio


Dr. Lotan is Professor Emerita and the former Director of the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP). Her teaching and research focus on aspects of teaching and learning in academically and linguistically diverse classrooms and topics in teacher education. Currently, she directs the Program for Complex Instruction at Stanford, where she works on the development, research and worldwide dissemination of complex instruction, a pedagogical approach to creating equitable classrooms. For ten years before starting graduate work, Dr. Lotan taught English and French in junior high and high school.

Academic Appointments


  • Emeritus Faculty, Acad Council, Graduate School of Education

Administrative Appointments


  • Professor (Teaching) Emerita on recall, Stanford Graduate School of Education (2014 - 2016)
  • Professor (Teaching) of Education, Stanford Graduate School of Education (2006 - 2014)
  • Associate Professor (Teaching) of Education, Stanford Graduate School of Education (1999 - 2006)
  • Acting Assistant Professor (Teaching), Stanford Graduate School of Education (1986 - 1987)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Director, Stanford Teacher Education Program (1999 - 2014)
  • Director, Program for Complex Instruction, Center for Education research (1999 - Present)
  • Director of Theory, Practice and Strategic Planning, Programa de Educação Docente Brasil, Lemann Center, Stanford University (2016 - Present)
  • Co-Director, Program for Complex Instruction, Center for Educational Research and Senior Research Scholar (1986 - 1999)
  • Member, Editorial Board, Teacher Education Quarterly (2004 - 2006)
  • Member, Editorial Board, European Journal for Intercultural Education (1999 - Present)
  • Secretary to the association, Program Chair, Sociology of Education Association (1995 - 1995)
  • Member of the Board, Sociology of Education Association (1992 - 1995)
  • Visiting Assistant/Associate Professor, Institute for the Advancement of Social Integration in Schools, Bar-Ilan University, Israel (Summers) (1986 - 1991)
  • Research Assistant, Center for Educational Research at Stanford (1982 - 1985)
  • Junior High and High School Teacher, - (1969 - 1980)

Professional Education


  • PhD, Stanford University, Education (1985)
  • MA, Stanford University, Sociology (1983)
  • MA, Stanford University, Education (1981)
  • Secondary Education Credential, Tel Aviv University, Foreign Language Teacher (1971)
  • BA, Tel Aviv University, English Linguistics and French Language, Literature and Civilization (1970)

Research Interests


  • Equity in education
  • Teachers and Teaching

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Equitable teaching and learning in heterogeneous classrooms; Teaching as a profession in international contexts, Curriculum development.

2019-20 Courses


Stanford Advisees


All Publications


  • The Instructional Leadership Corps: Entrusting professional learning in the hands of the profession Learning Policy Institute Lotan, R. A., Burns, D. 2019
  • Why and how we teach about climate change Climate Change across the Curriculum, Lexington Books Holthuis, N., Lotan, R. A., Mastrandrea, M., Saltzman, J. edited by Fretz, E. 2016: 183–195
  • Managing groupwork The SAGE Encyclopedia on Classroom Management Lotan, R. A. edited by Scarlett, W. G. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA. 2015
  • From high school to medical school: The importance of community in education Medical Science Education Osterberg, L., Gilbert, J., Lotan, R. A. 2014; 24: 353-356
  • Supporting and understanding students’ epistemological discourse about climate change Journal of Geoscience Education Holthuis, N., Lotan, R. A., Saltzman, J., Mastrandrea, M., Wild, A. 2014; 62 (3): 374-387
  • A balancing act: Dilemmas of implementing a high-stakes performance assessment The New Educator Lit, I. W., Lotan, R. 2013; 9 (1): 54-76
  • Complex Instruction Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education Lotan, R. A. edited by Banks, J. A. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA. 2012
  • Social and cultural influences on teacher education International Encyclopedia of Education Ben-Peretz, M., Lotan, R. A. edited by Peterson, P., Baker, E., McGaw, B. Oxford, Elsevier. 2010; 7: 525–531
  • Studying teacher effectiveness: The challenges of developing valid measures The handbook of measurement: How social scientists generate, modify, and validate indicators and scales Darling-Hammond, L., Dieckman, J., Haertel, E., Lotan, R., Newton, X., Philipose, S., Spang, E., Thomas, E., Williamson, P. edited by Walford, G., Tucker, E. Sage Publications. 2010
  • Developing language and mastering content in heterogeneous classrooms The teacher’s role in implementing cooperative learning in the classroom Lotan, R. A. Springer. 2008: 184–200
  • Teaching teachers to build equitable classrooms THEORY INTO PRACTICE Lotan, R. 2006; 45 (1): 32-39
  • Commentary Mentoring teachers toward excellence: Supporting and Developing Highly Qualified Teachers Lotan, R. A. edited by Shulman, J., Sato , M. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. New Jersey. 2006: 169–171
  • Managing groupwork Handbook of Classroom Management: Research, Practice, and Contemporary Issues Lotan, R. A. edited by Evertson, C., Weinstein , C. , Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. New Jersey. 2006: 525–539
  • Teaching teachers to build equitable classrooms Theory Into Practice Lotan, R. 2006; 45 (1): 32-39
  • Keeping content at the heart of content-based instruction: Access and support for transitional English learners Content-based instruction in primary and secondary school settings Bunch, G., Lotan, R., Valdés, G., Cohen, E. 2005: 11-25
  • Equity in heterogeneous classrooms Handbook of research on multicultural education Cohen, E. G., Lotan, R. A. 2004; 2: 736-750
  • Stepping into Groupwork Teaching Cooperative Learning: The Challenge for Teacher Education Lotan, R. A. edited by Cohen, E. G., Brody , C., Sapon-Shevin, M. SUNY Press, Albany. 2004: 167–182
  • Group-worthy tasks EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP Lotan, R. A. 2003; 60 (6): 72-75
  • Can groups learn? TEACHERS COLLEGE RECORD Cohen, E. G., Lotan, R. A., Abram, P. L., Scarloss, B. A., Schultz, S. E. 2002; 104 (6): 1045-1068
  • Standards-based assessment of teacher candidates’ performance in clinical practice Issues in Teacher Education Lotan, R. A., Marcus, A. 2002; 11 (1): 31-47
  • Beyond sheltered instruction: Rethinking conditions for academic language development TESOL Journal Bunch, G. C., Abram, P. L., Lotan, R. A., Valdés, G. 2001; 10 (2&3)
  • The use of evaluation criteria to improve student talk in cooperative groups Asian Pacific Journal of Education Abram, P. L., Cohen, E. G., Holthuis, N. I., Scarloss, B. A., Lotan, R. A., Schultz, S. E. 2001; 22 (1)
  • Complex instruction: Equity in cooperative learning classrooms THEORY INTO PRACTICE Cohen, E. G., Lotan, R. A., Scarloss, B. A., Arellano, A. R. 1999; 38 (2): 80-86
  • Beyond the workshop: Evidence from complex instruction Professional Development for Cooperative Learning Issues and Approaches Lotan, R. A., Cohen, E. G., Morphew, C. C. edited by Brody , C., Davidson, N. State University of New York Press. Albany. 1998: 122–145
  • Groupwork in diverse classrooms: A casebook for educators edited by Shulman, J. H., Lotan, R. A., Whitcomb, J. A. New York: Teachers College Press. 1998
  • Working for equity in heterogeneous classrooms: Sociological theory in action edited by Cohen, E. G., Lotan, R. A. New York: Teachers College Press. 1997
  • Operation of Status in the Middle Grades: Recent Developments Status, Network, and Structure. Theory Development in Group Processes Cohen, E. G., Lotan, R. A. edited by Szmatka, J., Skvoretz , J., Berger, J. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 1997: 222–240
  • Creating equal status interaction in heterogeneous classrooms: Evidence from complex instruction Enhancing Education in Heterogeneous Schools: Theory and Application Cohen, E. G., Lotan, R. A. edited by Ben-Ari, R., Rich, Y. Ramat Gan: Bar-Ilan University Press. 1997: 249–280
  • Complex Instruction in the Science Classroom: The Human Biology Curriculum in Action Cooperative Learning in Science: A Handbook for Teachers Lotan, R. A., Bianchini , J. A., Holthuis, N. C. edited by Stahl , R. Menlo Park: Addison-Wesley. 1996: 331–354
  • PRODUCING EQUAL-STATUS INTERACTION IN THE HETEROGENEOUS CLASSROOM AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL Cohen, E. G., Lotan, R. A. 1995; 32 (1): 99-120
  • Talking and working together - Conditions for learning in complex instruction Conference on the Social Organization of Schools Cohen, E. G., Lotan, R. A., Holthuis, N. PLENUM PRESS DIV PLENUM PUBLISHING CORP. 1995: 157–174
  • Poetry in Groupwork: Complex Instruction in the Language Arts Handbook for Cooperative Learning in Language Arts Lotan , R. A., Whitcomb, J. A. edited by Stahl , R. J. Addison-Wesley. Pp. 1995
  • Complex Instruction: Higher Order Thinking in the Heterogeneous Classroom Handbook for Cooperative Learning Methods Cohen, E. G., Lotan, R. A., Whitcomb, J. A., Balderrama, M., Cossey , R., Swanson, P. E. edited by Sharan, S. Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut. 1994: 82–96
  • Complex Instruction in Detracked Social Studies Classrooms Cooperative Learning in the Social Studies Classroom Cohen, E. G., Lotan, R. A., Whitcomb, J. A. edited by Stahl, R. J., VanSickle , R. L. National Council for Social Studies, Washington, D.C. . 1992
  • Strategies for Detracked Middle Schools: Curricular Materials, Instructional Strategies and Access to Learning Middle School Journal Lotan, R. A., Swanson, P. E., LeTendre, G. 1992; 24 (1): 4-14
  • STRANGERS IN PARADISE - THE ISRAELI KIBBUTZ EXPERIENCE - MITTELBERG,D (Book Review) CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY-A JOURNAL OF REVIEWS Book Review Authored by: Lotan, R. A. 1990; 19 (1): 43-44
  • Treating Status Problems in the Cooperative Classroom Cooperative Learning: Research and Theory Cohen, E. G., Lotan, R. A., Catanzarite, L. edited by Sharan , S. New York: Prager. 1990
  • Teacher as Supervisor of Complex Technology Theory into Practice Cohen, E. G., Lotan, R. A. 1990; 24 (2): 78-84
  • CAN CLASSROOMS LEARN SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION Cohen, E. G., Lotan, R. A., LEECHOR, C. 1989; 62 (2): 75-94
  • Finding Out about Complex Instruction: Teaching Math and Science in Heterogeneous Classrooms Small Group Cooperative Learning in Math. A Handbook for Teachers Lotan, R. A., Benton, J. edited by Davidson , N. Addison-Wesley. 1989
  • Can Expectations for Competence Be Treated in the Classroom? Status Generalization: New Theory and and Research Cohen, E. G., Lotan , R. A., Catanzarite, L. edited by Webster , M., Foschi , M. Stanford University Press. 1988
  • Understanding the Theories: Training Teachers for Implementation of Complex Instructional Technology Lotan, R. A. Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University. 1985