Kathryn Kirchgasler

Assistant Professor


226-E Teacher Education Building

225 N Mills Street

Madison, WI 53706

Kirchgasler, Kathryn

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Katie Kirchgasler is Assistant Professor of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is affiliated with the Holtz Center for Science & Technology Studies, Chican@ & Latin@ Studies Program, and Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies.

Her research investigates how education reforms today inadvertently build on legacies of segregated and colonial schooling. She examines taken-for-granted practices of educational research and pedagogy that divide and order students, their families, and communities onto hierarchies of being, knowing, and feeling. Her studies use historicizing and ethnographic approaches to explore how current efforts to include all students rely on inherited practices that create new forms of exclusion and demands for assimilation.

Katie’s scholarship appears in the Teachers College Record, Science Education, Educational Studies in Mathematics, Paedagogica Historica, and Curriculum Inquiry. She has received a Research Development Award from the National Academy of Education / Spencer Foundation and given an invited keynote for the International Organization for Science and Technology Education. She serves on the Leadership Council of Science Educators for Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice, and is currently a co-coordinator for the Cultural, Social, and Gender Issues strand of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching.

She teaches graduate and undergraduate seminars that explore post/de/anticolonial studies, raciolinguistic perspectives, and Science & Technology Studies. As a teacher educator, she aims to support pre-service teachers in questioning standardized norms, dismantling raciolinguistic hierarchies, and interweaving principles of culturally relevant and justice-centered pedagogies. She previously taught science at an East Boston middle school and as a Fulbright teaching assistant at a bilingual primary school in Spain.

Katie enjoys working with interdisciplinary graduate students interested in questions of power, racialization, and coloniality across areas, including science, mathematics, environmental, health, early childhood, bilingual, multicultural, and teacher education.

She is currently admitting doctoral students; feel free to reach out via the email above to discuss your research interests.


  • PhD Curriculum & Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2018
  • BA Psychology, Williams College, 2006

Select Publications

  • Kirchgasler, K. L., & Kuhlmann, N. (2023). Historicising inclusion: how science curricular differentiation produced populations of concern in the United States and West Germany (1960s–1980s). Paedagogica Historica, 59(1), 124-144. Online Publication/Abstract.
  • Kirchgasler, K. L. (2023). Science class as clinic: Why histories of segregated instruction matter for health equity reforms today. Science Education, 107(1), 42-70. Online Publication/Abstract.
  • Kirchgasler, K. L., & Yolcu, A. (2022). “Real-Life Needs”: How Humanitarian Techniques Produce Hierarchies of Science and Mathematics Education. Teachers College Record, 124(11), 30-57. Online Publication/Abstract.
  • Ziols, R., & Kirchgasler, K. L. (2021). Health and pathology: A brief history of the biopolitics of US mathematics education. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 108, 123-142. Online Publication/Abstract.
  • Kirchgasler, K. L. (2020). Dangers of “making diversity visible”: Historicizing metrics of science achievement in U.S. educational policy. G. Fan & T. Popkewitz (Eds.), The International Handbook of Education Policy Studies: Volume II New York: Springer Online Publication/Abstract.
  • Kirchgasler, K. L. (2019). Strange precipitate: How interest in science produces different kinds of students.. W. Letts & S. Fifield (Eds.), STEM of Desire: Queer Theories and Science Education, 191-209. Leiden: Brill Online Publication/Abstract.
  • Kirchgasler, K. L. (2018). Moving the lab into the field: The making of pathologized (non)citizens in U.S. science education. Curriculum Inquiry, 48(1), 115–137. Online Publication/Abstract.

Select Presentations

  • Kirchgasler, K. L. (2022). Raciolinguistic foundations of U.S. science education: From segregated schooling to equity reforms. Invited lecture, Talking Race in the Borderlands Speaker Series, San Diego State University, Virtual. Link
  • Kirchgasler, K. L. (2021). Raciolinguistic and historicizing perspectives. Invited seminar (co-presenter: Diego Román), Sandra K, Abell Institute for Doctoral Students, National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Virtual. Link
  • Kirchgasler, K. L. (2018). A “win-win strategy” and its colonial history: Making healthier citizens in science class. Invited Lecture at TERC, Cambridge, MA.
  • Kirchgasler, K. L. (2018). A paradox of diversity and inclusion: Making the future citizen in science education. Keynote for the XVIII Symposium of the International Organization for Science and Technology Education, Malmö, Sweden. Link

Select Awards and Honors

  • Research Development Award, National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, 2020