When not spending his time in meetings and administration of the department, Dr. Akmal continues research related to improving schools and teachers. More specifically, he studies (1) how to prepare and develop pre- and in-service teachers, particularly at the middle level; and (2) the effects of educational reform and accountability movement on middle schools. He is especially interested in the practices of middle schools in relation to the issues surrounding grade level retention of students, teacher attrition, and other effects of educational accountability.
Dr. Akmal teaches general instructional methods courses for middle and high school pre-service teachers—sharing his passion for engaging K-12 students in meaningful learning experiences with teacher candidates. At the graduate level, he teaches curriculum, instruction, and middle level courses for students in the Ed.M, M.A., and M.I.T programs. Akmal has experience teaching middle and high school but his research interests and favorite grades are at the middle level. He has been active at the national level, serving on the AMLE Board of Trustees from 2010-2015 and continues to serve the organization.
Current leadership roles
- Chair, Department of Teaching & Learning (2016-Present)
- Director of Teacher Education (2010-Present)
- President-Elect 2019-2020, Washington Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE)
- Member, Finance & Audit Committee, Association for Middle Level Education.
Lamb, R., Annetta, L., Firestone, J. B., Vallett, D.B., Shapiro, M., Matthews, B., Akmal, T. & McManus, C. (In press). Psychosocial factors impacting STEM career selection in Computer Science and Engineering. Social Science Research (2016).
Slavit, D., deVincenzi, A., Akmal, T., & Lesseig, K. (in press). Promoting community and core practices in a multi-site middle level mathematics program. In P. B. Howell, S. A. Faulkner, J. P. Jones, & J. Carpenter (Eds.) Preparing Middle Level Educators for 21st Century Schools: Enduring Beliefs, Changing Times, Evolving Practices. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
Akmal, T. & Husain, R. (2017). Pakistan. In Egbert, J. & Ernst-Slavit, G. Understanding our ELLS: Integrating language and culture into every classroom.
Himmer, P., Anderson, R. & Akmal, T. (2017, June) Fluidic channels in the classroom: Fabrication and Integration in Fluid Mechanics. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference June 25-28, Columbus, OH.
Recent grant work
- Highfill, M. (Principal Investigator), Akmal, T. (Co-Principal Investigator), Ehrlinger, J. (Co-Principal Investigator) Teacher Preparation Student Support Services proposal to US Department of Education. Submitted January 2015, funded August 2015. ($1,100,000).
Recent conference presentations
Akmal, T., Larsen, D.E. & Bruce, T. (2017). Rural Middle Grades Principals: Unique Students, Unique Settings, Unique Skills. Presentation at the annual meeting of the Association for Middle Level Education Conference, Philadelphia, PA.
Himmer, P., Anderson, R. & Akmal, T. (2017, June) Fluidic channels in the classroom: Fabrication and Integration in Fluid Mechanics. Presentation at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference, Columbus, OH.
Lamb, R., Vallett, D., Akmal, T., Schmitter-Edgecomb, M., & Cunningham, R. (2016). A computational modeling of student cognitive processes while solving critical thinking problems in science. Poster presented at the International Conference of National Association for Research in Science Teaching (JRST). Baltimore MD.
A Cougar through and through:
- Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction, Washington State University, 1997
- M.A. Curriculum and Instruction, Washington State University, 1996
- B.A. English/Social Studies Education, Washington State University, 1988