About Dr. James

Abigail Norfleet James grew up at a boys’ school: Woodberry Forest School in Orange, Virginia, where her father was a teacher and her mother was the school historian. Abigail was educated at a girls’ school: St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, Virginia.

Those formative years taught her much about the very real differences between how girls and boys learn, and sparked her lifelong quest to help children learn and thrive in the most supportive atmosphere possible.

Dr. James earned her B.A. in Science Education at Duke University, and went on to the University of Virginia to earn her Master’s in Counselor Education and her Doctorate in Educational Psychology. She began teaching after graduation from Duke, and has been making an impact in classrooms across the US, and the globe, ever since.

Abigail Norfleet James’ full academic CV:

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

  • Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, 2001
    Area of Specialization: Learning and Cognitive Development
    Title of Dissertation:  Educating Boys: A comparison of educational attitudes of male graduates of single-sex and coed schools. [Attended: 1997-2001]
  • M.Ed. in Counselor Education, 1973
    Area of Specialization: Adolescents [Attended: 1972-1973]

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

  • B. A. in Science Education, 1970
    Concentration in Biology and General Science [Attended: 1965-1970]
    Nursing School 1965-1967, Women’s College 1967-1970

Her teaching experience:

University Level
Germanna Community College, Locust Grove, Virginia, 2002-present – Adjunct Professor

  • Courses taught: Principles of  Psychology, Lifespan Human Development, Child Psychology and Psychology of Men and Women
  • Nursing Camp: guest lecture on stress and stress management

University of Virginia, Northern Virginia Center

  • 2010 – Course taught – Gendered Education – Social Foundations of Education graduate course
  • 2007-9– Course taught – Crisis in the Classroom: Males and Education – Social Foundations of Education graduate course
  • 2004 – Language and Special Education: guest lecture on the influence of neurobiology on language development and on cognitive gender differences
  • 2001 – Introduction to Elementary Education: guest lecture on methods to incorporate laboratory-based science activities into the elementary school curriculum

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, 2002

  • Health Psychology: guest lecture on the effect of stress on the cardiovascular system and methods and techniques to control that stress

Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, Virginia, 1999-2001

  • Introductory Psychology: guest lecture on the influence of neurobiology on cognitive gender differences

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, 2000

  • Seminar on Gender Differences in Cognitive Ability: guest lecture on the cognitive justification for gendered educational settings
  • Introduction to Research: guest lecture on quasi-scientific research and research in the private setting

Secondary Schools
Woodberry Forest Summer Experience, 1997-2004

  • Course taught: Study skills curriculum based on individual learning styles
  • Educational Consultant
  • Supervisor of intern program

Woodberry Forest School, 1985-1997

  • Courses taught: Advanced Placement Psychology (90%+ students attained a score of 3 or better), Quantitative Physical Science, Biology
  • Mentored Psychology students in preparing independent research projects for presentation to the Virginia Junior Academy of Science

Stuart Hall School, Staunton, Virginia, 1980-1982

  • Director of Counseling Services
  • Courses taught: Biology, Human Biology, General Science, Quantitative Physical Science, Pre-Algebra

Blue Ridge School, St. George, Virginia, 1974-1975

  • Courses taught: General Science and Sex Education

St. Agnes School, Alexandria, Virginia, 1970-1972

  • Courses taught: General Science, Human Biology, Algebra II and Trigonometry

Awards and Honors
American Psychological Association – 2004 Teaching Tips Contest – second place

Professional Affiliations
American Psychological Association
Member, Division 51 – Psychology of Men and Masculinity
American Educational Research Association
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Gender and Education Association
International Boys’ School Coalition
National Association for Single Sex Public Education

Professional Service
American Psychological Association – Member of the Executive Committee of Teachers of Psychology  in the Secondary Schools (TOPSS) – 1994-1996
United Nations – Consultative Meeting on Research Approaches for Very Young Adolescents – 2005
National Association for Single Sex Public Education – Advisory Board – 2005 – Present

Consultant Service
Haverford School for Boys, Haverford, PA
Septima Clark Public Charter School, Washington, DC
Hannah-Pamplico Elementary Middle School, Pamplico, SC

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