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CEHD and U of M Word Marks


330 Wulling Hall
86 Pleasant Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Fax: 612-624-3377

Undergraduate Studies:

Graduate Studies:



Kyla Wahlstrom

Lecturer; Senior Research Fellow

Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1990, educational policy and administration
M.A., University of St. Thomas, 1976, special education-learning disabilities
B.S. with distinction, University of Minnesota, 1971, Major: Elementary education, Minor: English

Appl Res/Educational Impr, Ctr
425 LES

1954 Burford Ave
Tel: 612/624-1890

Areas of Interest

Politics of change
Professional development of teachers
Leadership issues


Kyla L. Wahlstrom, Ph.D., is the Director of the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota and is a faculty member in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Dr. Wahlstrom received her Ph.D. degree from the University of Minnesota in the area of educational policy development and analysis of school change. Prior to her appointment at CAREI in 1990, she had 19 years of public school experience as a classroom teacher and special education teacher, school principal and district administrator. She is the primary investigator of the original research begun in 1996, which examined the effects and longitudinal outcomes of later starting times for high schools, and was named the recipient of the MASCD National Research Award as a result of that study. Most recently she has completed the research on outcomes linked to later high school start times across the U.S., a study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Other areas of Dr. Wahlstrom’s research include examining the role of effective educational leadership in academic achievement, the politics of educational change, professional development of teachers, and the role of standards in school reform. Publications include one book, several book chapters, and numerous journal articles and technical monographs used by educational leaders to shape educational policy decisions across the U.S.

Awards and Honors

  • 2000 National Leadership Award - for research having national impact, Minnesota Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (January 2001)
  • Outstanding Professional Academic Award (chosen to be one of five recipients for this award out of 3,000 employees), University of Minnesota (May 2000)
  • Guest editor of a five-article special section for journal, Phi Delta Kappan (January 1999)
  • Named twice to be a member of the 4-person faculty team that traveled to Russia and Ukraine to provide cultural and programmatic orientation to Russian and Ukrainian faculty scholars coming to America for a year of study, Fulbright Office, Washington, DC (June 1997 & July 1998)
  • Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Regional Award, Phi Delta Kappa (1990)

Professional Licensure


  • Elementary principal
  • Superintendent
  • Director of special education


  • Elementary education (Grades 1-6)
  • Learning disabilities (Grades K-12)
  • Early childhood special education (Birth-age 6)

Selected Publications

  1. Wahlstrom, K., Seashore, K., Leithwood, K., & Anderson, S. (2010). Learning from leadership: Investigating the links to improved student learning. Research Report Executive Summary. Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement. University of Minnesota.

  2. Wahlstrom, K. & Seashore, K. (2008). How teachers experience principal leadership: The roles of professional community, trust, efficacy, and shared responsibility. Educational Administration Quarterly, 44(4).

  3. Wahlstrom, K. (2005). Beliefs, reflection and change—Teacher knowledge and the cross-cultural mirror. Journal of Educational Action Research.

  4. Wahlstrom, K. (2002). Changing Times: Findings from the First Longitudinal Study of Later High School Start Times. NASSP Bulletin, Vol. 86, No. 633, December, 2002, pp. 3-21.

  5. Wahlstrom, K. (2002). Accommodating the sleep patterns of adolescents within current educational structures: An uncharted path. In M. Carskadon (Ed.) Adolescent sleep patterns: Biological, social, and psychological influences (pp. 172-197). Cambridge University Press: New York and Cambridge, England.

  6. Romano, J. & Wahlstrom, K. (2000). Professional stress and well-being of K-12 teachers in alternative educational settings: A leadership agenda. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 3(2), 121-135.

  7. Wahlstrom, K. L. & Begalle, M. (1999). More than test scores – Results of the universal school breakfast pilot in Minnesota. Topics in Clinical Nutrition, 15(1).

  8. Wahlstrom, K. L. (1999). The prickly politics of school starting times. Kappan, 80(5), 344-347.

  9. Updated March 2014