Tom Popkewitz


(608) 263-7343

464B Teacher Education Building

225 N Mills St

Madison, WI 53706-1707

Popkewitz, Thomas

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My studies are concerned with the knowledge or systems of reason that govern patterns of inclusion/exclusion in policy, school practices and research related to pedagogy and teacher education. My research includes historical, ethnographic, and comparative studies of educational reforms and the education sciences in Asia, Europe, Latin America, Southern Africa, and the US.

Scholarship: I have written or edited approximately 40 books and over 300 articles in journals and book chapters, translated into 17 languages. Two of my books (Paradigms and Ideology in Educational Research and A Political Sociology of Educational Reform) have won awards for their contribution to educational studies. I have conducted national and comparative studies of teacher education and curriculum reforms in the US, Europe, Latin America, and Asia, particularly as they relate to questions of social exclusion (e.g., The Myth of Educational Reform, and Struggling for the Soul). I have co-directed a ten-country European Union-funded research project on educational governance and social exclusion (1999-2002), and directed comparative projects in the history and contemporary studies of educational reforms. These studies appear in edited books (e.g., Educational Knowledge; Changing Patterns of Power; Inventing the Modern Self and John Dewey: Modernities and the Traveling of Pragmatism in Education; and co-edited Educational restructuring: International perspectives on traveling policies; The Child, the Citizen, and the Promised Land: Comparative Visions in the Development of Schooling in the Long 19th Century). My current research concerns the transnational relation of science, education, and society embodied in the emergence of international student performance assessments, and the changing patterns of governing societies and people in the post-World War Two mobilizations of social and education sciences.

Courses Taught: School Reform (C&I 716), Paradigms Of Educational Research and Evaluation(C&I 714), Globalization and Teaching(C&I 765), and Internationalizing of Educational Knowledge (C&I 366 & 727).

Select Publications

  • Popkewitz, T. S., (2020). The impracticality of practical research: A history of sciences of change that conserve. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.
  • Fan, G., & Popkewitz, T. S. (2020). Handbook on Policy Studies., 1-2 Springer (English), Shanghia: Shanghai Educational Publishing House (Chinese).
  • Popkewitz, T. S., (2019). How Theory Acts as the Retrieval Apparatus in Methods. Historical Thoughts on Romanticized Intellectual Practices. T. Fitzgerald (Ed.), Handbook of historical studies in education: Debates, tensions and directions Springer.
  • Lindblad, S., Pettersson, D., & Popkewitz, T. S. (2018). Education by the numbers and the making of society. The expertise of international assessments. New York: Routledge.
  • Popkewitz, T. S., (2017). Teacher education and teaching as struggling for the soul: A critical ethnography. New York: Routledge.
  • Popkewitz, T. S., (2015). The "Reason" of Schooling: Historicizing Curriculum Studies, Pedagogy, and Teacher Education. New York: Routledge.
  • Popkewitz, T. S., (2013). Rethinking the history of education: An intercontinental perspective on the questions, methods, and knowledge of schools. New York: PalgraveMacMillan.
  • Popkewitz, T. S., (2010). Curriculum studies, curriculum history, and curriculum theory: the reason of reason. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 41(3), 301-319.
  • Popkewitz, T. S., (2008). Cosmopolitanism and the age of school reform. Science, education and making society by making the child New York: Routledge. (translated Chinese, Spanish, and Swedish)..

Select Presentations

  • Popkewitz, T. S. Keynote Speaker: Modern Schooling, The Knowledge of Textbooks and the Politics of Modernity. Keynote/Plenary Address 2nd Conference of Curriculum, textbook and teaching, Beijing Normal University, China.
  • Popkewitz, T. S. Keynote Speaker: Comparative Reasoning of International Education Assessments: The Double Gestures of Hope and Fears in Science. Keynote/Plenary Address International Conference on Educational Research, The University of Addis Abba, Ethiopia.
  • Popkewitz, T. S. Keynote Speaker: The Making of Inequality in Educational for Equality: Historical Notes on Contemporary American and European Sciences. Keynote/Plenary Address The 15th Annual Conference of the National Committee of Sociology of Education.
  • Popkewitz, T. S. Keynote Speaker: Numbers as desires and the impracticality of international student assessments: Governing by numbers at international level. Keynote/Plenary Address New relationships between the State and Professions in Education.
  • Popkewitz, T. S. Keynote Speaker: The Paradox of Research: The Good Intentions of Inclusion that Excludes and Abjects. The European Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Bolzano, Italy.
  • Popkewitz, T. S. Keynote Speaker: The Unity of Knowledge as a Philosophy Ideal in the Practices of Schooling: Notes from Curriculum & Science Studies about Change that Conserves. 2nd International Symposium on Philosophy, Education, Art and History of Science, Turkey.
  • Popkewitz, T. S. Keynote Speaker: The Promise of International Assessments and the Lorelei’s Whispers: Notes from Curriculum & Science Studies. Lecture Research and Policymaking in Education Symposium, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Popkewitz, T. S. Keynote Speaker: National Graduate School in Educational Research, Track 3 in cooperation with the research group CLEG. The Department of Teacher Education and School Research, and the Department of Education, Oslo, Norway.
  • Popkewitz, T. S. Keynote Speaker: The Historical Possibility of Practical Knowledge as the Object of Change: Notes on the Emergence of a System of Reasoning. Australian Association for Research in Education: History and Education SIG: Workshop, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Popkewitz, T. S. Keynote Speaker: The Problem of Educational Change in Pedagogical Research. Annual Conference of Pedagogy, 19th National Pedagogical Institute, Shanghai, China.

Select Awards and Honors

  • Elected as Laureate, Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, Chapter of Laureates, 2016
  • Elected Senior International Academician, Russian Academy of Education, 2016
  • Honorary Doctorates for my contributions to the studies of educational reform and educational sciences, Umeå University (Sweden); the University of Lisboa (Portugal); Katholieke Universiteit (Leuven, Belgium), University of Helsinki, Finland, and The University of Granada (Spain), 2016
  • Distinguished Visiting Professorship, Nanjing Normal University and East China Normal University, (2013, 2016)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Division B, Curriculum Studies, American Educational Research Association (AERA), 2008
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Teachers College, Columbia University, 2005
  • The Finnish Academy of Science Fellowship, Helsinki Collegium for Advance Study, 2004
  • Fulbright Fellowship, The University of Helsinki, Finland (2000) and the Soviet Academy of Education Sciences, (1999, 2000)
  • The W. F. Wilson Fellowship, The Oppenheimer Foundation in South Africa, 1993
  • Fellowship, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences (SCAS) (Uppsala), 1988