John Rudolph-Main Page

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Dr. John Rudolph

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Dr. John Rudolph

Department Chair
Curriculum and Instruction (CI)

Curriculum and Instruction (CI)

226D Teacher Education Building  binoculars icon
225 N Mills St
Madison, WI 53706-1707
Curriculum Vitae

Personal Biography

Professor Rudolph received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in curriculum and instruction. He also holds a masters degree in the history of science. Prior to his appointment in the department, he spent a number of years teaching physics, chemistry, and biology in middle schools and high schools across Wisconsin. He has been in the department since 1999 and holds, in addition, appointments in the Dept of History of Science and the Dept of Educational Policy Studies. He is also a faculty affiliate of the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies on campus.

Research Interests

Professor Rudolph’s main area of research focuses on the history of science education in American high schools. He also writes on issues related to the nature of science in the present-day school curriculum and on how the history, philosophy, and sociology of science have been used in science education research.


  • Rudolph, J.L. (2014). Dewey's 'Science as Method' A Hundred Years Later: Reviving Science Education for Civic Ends. American Education Research Journal. 51, 1056-1083.
  • Rudolph, J.L., & Meshoulam, D. (2014). Science Education in American High Schools. In Hugh R. Slotten (Eds.), Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology, (pp. 503-523). New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
  • Rudolph, J.L. (2014). Why Understanding Science Matters: The IES Research Guidelines as a Case in Point. Educational Researcher. 43(1), 15-18.
  • Rudolph, J.L. (2012). Instructional Materials and the Fate of Dynamic Biology in American Classrooms after Sputnik. Technology and Culture. 53, 1-36.
  • Rudolph, J.L. (2011). Science Education: History at the Edge (Invited Essay Review of Teaching Children Science: Hands-On Nature Study in North America, 1890-1930, by Sally Gregory Kohlstedt). Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 42, 270-273.
  • Nelson, A.R., & Rudolph, J.L. (2010). Education and the Culture of Print in Modern America. In A. R. Nelson & J. L. Rudolph (Eds.), Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.
  • Rudolph, J.L. (2008). Historical Writing on Science Education: A View of the Landscape. Studies in Science Education. 44, 63-82.
  • Rudolph, J.L. (2005). Epistemology for the Masses: The Origins of 'the Scientific Method' in American Schools. History of Education Quarterly. 45, 341-376.
  • Rudolph, J.L. (2005). Inquiry, Instrumentalism, and the Public Understanding of Science. Science Education. 89, 803-821.
  • Rudolph, J.L. (2005). Turning Science to Account: Chicago and the General Science Movement in Secondary Education, 1905-1920. Isis. 96, 353-389.
  • Rudolph, J.L. (2002). Scientists in the Classroom: The Cold War Reconstruction of American Science Education. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Rudolph, J.L., & Mehsoulam, D. (in press). Science Education in American High Schools. The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Scientific, Medical, and Technological History. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.


  • Rudolph, J.L. (2010, December 2). The Narrowing of Inquiry in the 21st Century, University of Georgia, College of Education, Athens, GA.
  • Rudolph, J.L. (2010, November 18). Scientists in the Classroom: Past, Present, and Future Contributions, Stony Brook University, Center for Science and Mathematics Education, Stony Brook, NY.
  • Rudolph, J.L. (2010). Stakeholders and Boundary Work in the History of Science Education, American Educational Research Association, Annual Meeting, AERA, Denver, CO.
  • Rudolph, J.L. (2009). Science for the Public and the Irony of the Laboratory Movement in Late Nineteenth-Century America, History of Education Society, Annual Meeting, History of Education Society, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Rudolph, J.L. (2009, April 30). How Understandings of Scientific Practices are Built: The Case of High School Biology in the 1960s, The Waterbury Lecture, College of Education, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA.
  • Rudolph, J.L. (2007, October 4). The Launch of Sputnik and Its Impact on Science Education in the United States, Askwith Education Forum on the 50th Anniversary of Sputnik, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA.
  • Rudolph, J.L. (2005, October 21). Ward's Dynavue and the Hybridization of Classroom Apparatus in the Post-Sputnik Era, Annual meeting of the National Academy of Education, National Academy of Education, New York, NY.
  • Rudolph, J.L. (2005, June 20). Designing Inquiry for Greater Public Participation in Science, Inaugural lecture of the Center for Curriculum and Materials in Science lecture series, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.

Awards and Honors

  • Other
    Organization: Other
    Purpose: Scholarship/Research
    Scope: International
    Description: Awarded for the best article in the history of education published in joumals from 2004-2005. "Epistemology for the Masses: The Origins of 'the Scientific Method' in American Schools." History ofEducation Quarterly 45 (2005): 341-376.
    Date(s): 2006
  • Other
    Organization: Other
    Purpose: Scholarship/Research
    Scope: International
    Date(s): 2004 - 2005
  • Other
    Organization: Other
    Purpose: Scholarship/Research
    Scope: International
    Description: Honorable Mention for "Scientists in the Classroom: The Cold War Reconstruction of American Science Education"
    Date(s): 2003
  • Outstanding Book Award
    Organization: Other
    Purpose: Scholarship/Research
    Scope: International
    Description: Honorable Mention for "Scientists in the Classroom: The Cold War Reconstruction of American Science Education"
    Date(s): 2003
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