Dr. Tony L. Talbert is an Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Professor of Social/Cultural Studies Education and Qualitative Research in the School of Education at Baylor University. Dr. Talbert refers to his field of research and teaching as Education As Democracy which integrates social/cultural, diversity, and democracy education into a focused discipline of qualitative and ethnographic inquiry examining school and community stakeholder empowerment through activist engagement in political, economic, and social issues. Dr. Talbert’s thirty-two (32) years as an educator have included teaching, research and service in public schools, universities, governmental and corporate institutions. Dr. Talbert began his career in education as a public school history and government teacher where he applied his previous training as a stage actor by engaging his students in the exploration of the human story by integrating the students’ own lived experiences with the historic drama and comedy that encompassed the lives of the characters and events being studied.
As a public school teacher Dr. Talbert’s informative and engaging approach to teaching made him a popular invited speaker at both state and national conferences where he presented such seminars as He Ain’t Crazy Mama He’s My History Teacher and Thinking Thoughts That Need to Be “Thunk” After seven years as a high school teacher, Dr. Talbert was asked to serve as an Education Specialist with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) where he facilitated professional development opportunities for educators statewide and nationally. After two years with the TEA Dr. Talbert was recruited to serve as the Executive Director of the Sam Houston State University Center for Professional Development where he was provided the opportunity to collaborate with public school and university educators and students in the exploration and application of cutting-edge digital technology integration into teaching. During this time Dr. Talbert earned his Doctor of Education Degree in Cultural/Social Studies and Qualitative Research at The University of Houston. Upon earning his Ed.D., Dr. Talbert combined his passion for creative teaching with his highly developed skills as a qualitative researcher and began his career in academia with a commitment to fully integrating the scholarship of discovery with the scholarship of teaching.
Although Dr. Talbert has held numerous leadership and research appointments he is first and foremost a teaching scholar. As a teaching scholar and mentor to his students he has been guided by his belief that excellent teaching is both strategic and serendipitous. Always intentional in facilitating and implementing best teaching and assessment practices and yet anticipatory of the unexpected brilliant, perhaps even impossible opportunities for learning that emerge from Constructivist collaborative engagement of students in the pursuit of excellence in education. As a teaching scholar Dr. Talbert has intentionally integrated his research into his teaching as evidenced by over sixty peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, more than eighty peer-reviewed and invited research presentations, his service as a chair and methodologist for dozens of masters and doctoral theses and dissertations, his role as co-editor of two academic journals, and chair of several special interest groups for national professional organizations.
Over his career he has been recognized for his engagement in transformative teaching and learning as noted by such recognitions as being named as one of the first Baylor University Teaching Fellows (2011) along with several other teaching award nominations. In 2013 Dr. Talbert decided that it had been far too long since he had been fully immersed in the real world of teaching. Therefore, he submitted an application to Baylor University for a research sabbatical and returned after more than a twenty year absence to the high school classroom where he taught World history to one-hundred and sixty-six tenth grade students. His experiences have been captured in both academic journal and popular press articles and will be the subject of a book in the future. Most recently Dr. Talbert was named as the recipient of the 2014 McGraw-Hill Distinguished Scholar Award for his contributions to qualitative research and teaching in the field of education.