Critical Pedagogy


The Ohio State University, PhD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ABEd, MAT


Dr. Ross is interested in the influence of social and institutional contexts on teachers’ practice as well as the role of curriculum and teaching in building a democratic society in the face of antidemocratic impulses of greed, individualism, and intolerance.

In recent years he has examined the influence of the educational standards and high-stakes testing movements on curriculum and teaching. His most recent research investigates the surveillance-based and spectacular conditions of postmodern schools and society in an effort to develop both a radical critique of the “disciplinary gaze” and a means by which teachers, students, and other stakeholders might resist its various conformative, anti-democratic, anti-collective, and oppressive potentialities.

Dr. Ross is co-founder and co-director, with Sandra Mathison and Stephen Petrina, of the Institute for Critical Education Studies and co-edits the Institute’s flagship, open access journals Critical Education and Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor.

He also co-edits Cultural Logic , which has been on-line since 1997, and is an open access, peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal publishing essays, interviews, poetry, and reviews by writers working within the Marxist tradition.

Dr. Ross has written extensively for newspapers and magazines on education and social issues and has contributed to numerous radio and television outlets. His education activism includes playing a key role in the creation of The Rouge Forum, a group of educators, parents, and students seeking a democratic society through dialogue and direct action. The Rouge Forum brings together education activists in a variety of projects and regularly sponsors regional and national conferences.

A former secondary social studies (Grades 8 to 12) and day care teacher in North Carolina and Georgia, Dr. Ross was Distinguished University Scholar and Chair of the Department of Teaching at the University of Louisville prior to his arrival at UBC in 2004. He has also taught at the State University of New York at Albany and Binghamton University, SUNY.

Find Dr. Ross on the interwebs:

Institute for Critical Education Studies
Where the Blog Has No Name
Workplace Blog

Follow me on Academia.edu

Read Full Profile

Invited Presentations

Academic Conferences & Presentations (Recent)

Democracy, populism and critical citizenship education in a neoliberal world. V Seminar on Teaching and Learning: Contributions of Interdisciplinary Education for Times of Change. University of Santiago, Chile. January 5, 2022.

Society, democracy, and economics: Challenges for social studies and citizenship education in a neoliberal world. Keynote speaker Gesellschaft für Sozioökonomische Bildung und Wissenschaft / Association for Socio-Economic Education and Research, University of Education Vienna, Austria, February 19-21, 2020.

Humanizing critical pedagogy. Plenary speaker at VIII International Conference on Critical Education, University of East London, London, UK, July 26, 2018.

The many faces of privatization. Advocacy Works! 2.0, 2018 Public Education Conference. Panel presentation with Larry Kuehn and Sandra Mathison. Vancouver, BC, April 21, 2018.

What teachers? What citizenship? What future? The challenges of teaching social sciences, geography, and history. Keynote address at XV Jornades Internacionals de Recerca en Didàctica de les Ciències Socials (XV International Conference on the Research of Teaching Social Sciences), Autonomous University of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. February 8, 2018.

Critical research on curriculum and social studies education. International Research Seminar on Social Studies Education, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, February 6-7, 2018.

Citizenship and social justice education: Pursuing Dangerous citizenship or the creative disruption of classroom life. Department of History, Alberto Hurtado University, Santiago, Chile, November 15, 2017.

Research seminar on citizenship and social justice education. Masters in Teaching Social Science and History Program, Alberto Hurtado University, Santiago, Chile, November 16, 2017.

Thinking critically about critical thinking [Pensamiento crítico desde una perspectiva crítica]. Educational Innovation Unit, University of Santiago of Chile, Santiago, Chile, November 14, 2017.

Dangerous citizenship. Faculty of Education, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, September 6, 2017.

Democratic Education the Age of Empire: Critical Pedagogy in Pursuit of Dangerous Citizenship. Keynote address at VII International Conference on Critical Education, “Rethinking Alternatives to Neo-liberalism in Education.” National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, June 27, 2017.

Recent Media/News Appearances (Recent)

Globe and Mail (March 20, 2020). Interviewed  and quoted on issue of teaching children at home during the COV19 pandemic by Caroline Alphonso, “What does school look like without the classroom?”  .

The Atlantic (October 27, 2018). To prevent loneliness, start in the classroom.  Ashley Fetters quotes my work on teaching history and civics from multiple perspectives to foster empathy and quell alienation among diverse groups of students.

CBC News (September 1, 2019). Interviewed and quoted regarded alternative and democratic schools aims and history by reporter Maryse Zeidler, “No grades, no curriculum: Parents lobby for ‘democratic’ school in Vancouver.”

Ross, E. W. (2018, September 23). Are private schools better than public schools? Perception versus reality. Times-Colonist (Victoria, BC). Retrieved from https://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/op-ed/comment-are-private-schools-better-than-public-schools-perception-versus-reality-1.23439962

Papadimitriou, A. (October 22, 2017). Ε. Γουέιν Ρος: Oι επικίνδυνοι πολίτες σώζουν τη δημοκρατία [E. Wayne Ross: Dangerous citizens save democracy]. Documento, p. 43.

American Herald Tribute (August 10, 2017). The fear created by precarious existence in the neoliberal world discourages critical thinking: An interview with E. Wayne Ross by Moshen Abdelmoumen.

 Algérie Résistance (August 12, 2017). Dr. Wayne Ross : “La peur créée par l’existence précaire dans le monde néolibéral décourage la pensée critique.” [Republished at Palestine Solidarité ]

Documento (July 2, 2017, pps. 33-35). Ο νεοφιλελευθερισμός εισβάλλει σε σχολεια και πανεπιστημια [Neoliberalism invades schools and universities]. Interviewed by Anna Papadimitriou for article on International Conference on Critical Education in Athens, Greece.


Selected Publications

Many of my books and articles are available at: http://ubc.academia.edu/EWayneRoss

Recent Books

Ross, E. W. (Ed.). (forthcoming). The social studies curriculum: Purposes, problems and possibilities (5th Ed.). State University of New York Press.

Plá, S., & Ross, E. W. (Eds.). (in press). The new social studies research in Latin America: Critical perspectives from the Global South. Routledge.

Ross, E. W. (2017). Rethinking social studies: Critical pedagogy and the pursuit of dangerous citizenship. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

McCray, N., & Ross, E. W. (Eds.). (2016). Working for social justice inside and outside the classroom: A community of teachers, researchers, and activists. New York: Peter Lang.

Ross, E. W. (Ed.). (2014). The social studies curriculum: Purposes, problems, and possibilities (4th Ed.). Albany: State University of New York Press.

Recent Articles & Book Chapters:

Mathison, S., & Ross, E. W. (2022). Critical education. In A. Maisuria (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of Marxism and education (pp. 129-146). Brill.

Ross, E. W. (2021). Society, democracy, and economics: Challenges for social studies and citizenship education in a neoliberal world. In F. Christian, U. Hagedorn, R. Hedtke, P. Mittnik, & G. Tafner, Georg (Eds.), Wirtschaft, gesellschaf und politick: Sozioökonomische und politische bildung in schule und hochschule (pp. 33-51). Springer VS. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-32910-5_3

Castellví Mata, J. (2021). Read the world to write the future: An interview with professors E Wayne Ross and Xosé Manuel Souto, experts in critical social studies / Leer el mundo y escribir el futuro: Entrevista con los profesores E Wayne Ross y Xosé Manuel Souto, expertos en estudios sociales críticos. Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature, 14(2), 1-20. https://doi.org/10.5565/rev/jtl3.974

Petrina, S. & Ross, E. W. (2021). Higher racism: The case of the University of British Columbia — on the wrong side of history but right side of optics. Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor, 32, 12-25. https://ices.library.ubc.ca/index.php/workplace/issue/view/182672

Ross, E. W. (2020). Why are things as they are? Action research and the transformation of work and education in the neoliberal age. Canadian Journal of Action Research, 21(1), 10-26. https://journals.nipissingu.ca/index.php/cjar/article/view/515

Ross, E. W. (2020). Humanización de la pedagogía crítica: ¿Qué clase de profesores? ¿Qué clase de ciudadanía? ¿Qué clase de futuro? (Sonia Bazán, Trans.). Revista de Educación, 21(1), 17-37. Retrieved from http://fh.mdp.edu.ar/revistas/index.php/r_educ/issue/view/224/showToc

Ross, E. W. (2020). History and social studies curriculum. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. Oxford University Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.013.1062 

Ross, E. W. (2020). Issues facing the field: Teaching about and for democracy. In R. Case & P. Clark (Eds.). Learning to inquire in history, geography, and social studies: An anthology for secondary teachers (4th Ed., pp. 17-19). Vancouver, BC: Critical Thinking Consortium.

Ross, E. W. (2019). The challenges of teaching social studies: What teachers? What citizenship? What future? A tribute to Joan Pages. In Ballbé, M., González-Monfort, N., Santisteban, A. (Eds.), Quin professorate, quina ciutadania, quin future? Els reptes de l’ensenyament de les ciències socials, la geografia i la història (pp. 39-52). Barcelona, Spain: GREDICS, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Sant, E., Sepúlveda, M. E. V., Pages, J., & Ross, E. W. (2019). Interview with Professor E. Wayne Ross. Revista Educación y Pedagogía, 27(69-70), 147-158.

Ross, E. W. (2019). The courage of hopelessness: Democratic education in the age of empire. In C. Jenkins (Ed.), The 2017 Hampton Reader: Selected essays from a working-class think tank (pp. 53-70). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Ross, E. W. (2018). Humanizing critical pedagogy: What kind of teachers? What kind of citizenship? What kind of future? Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 40(5), 371-389. DOI: 10.1080/10714413.2019.1570792

Ross, E. W., & Gautreaux, M. (2018). Pensando de manera crítica sobre el pensamiento crítico [Thinking critically about critical thinking]. Aula Abierta, 47(4), 383-386. Retrieved from https://www.unioviedo.es/reunido/index.php/AA/article/view/13061

Ross, E. W. (2018). Class. In D. G. Krutka, A. M. Whitlock, & M. Helmsing (Eds.),  Keywords in the social studies: Concepts and conversations (pp. 249-260). New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing.

Kuehn, L., Mathison, S., & Ross, E. W. (2018, June 5). The many faces of privatization. Institute for Public Education / British Columbia, Occasional Paper No. 1. Vancouver, BC: IPE/BC. Retrieved from http://instituteforpubliceducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Many-Faces-of-Privatization-IPEBC-Occasional-Paper-1.pdf

Sant, E., Lewis, S., Delgado, S., & Ross, E. W.,  (2018). Justice and global citizenship education. In I. Davies (Ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Global Citizenship and Education (pp. 227-243). London: Palgrave.

Ross, E. W. (2017). Broadening the circle of critical pedagogy. In A. Darder, R. D. Torres, & M. P. Baltodano (Eds.), The critical pedagogy reader (3rd edition, pp. 608-617). New York: Routledge.

Delgado, S. & Ross, E. W. (2016). Students in revolt: The pedagogical potential of student collective action in the age of the corporate university. Knowledge Cultures, 4(6): 141-158.


Courses Taught

EDCP 333 – Curriculum Issues in Social Studies Education:
This course is based on the premise that good social studies teaching and learning requires teachers and students to pose and analyze problems in the process of understanding and transforming our world. In other words, social studies education should not be about passively absorbing someone else’s conception of the world, but rather it should be an exercise in creating a personally meaningful understanding of the way the world is and how one might act to transform it. To that end, this course focuses six key topics in the social studies curriculum: democracy and citizenship; race; First Nations/aboriginal peoples; social class; gender and sexuality; and globalization.

EDUC 500 – Research Methodology in Education:
An introduction to educational and social research for practitioners in schools and human services. The focus will be on fundamental issues in research including research methodology and research techniques (e.g., data collection, analysis and interpretation). This is not a research design or statistics course. In this course we will focus on: (a) developing an understanding of various kinds of educational and social research; (b) developing skills that will facilitate critical reading of educational and social research; and (c) exploring the role and use of research techniques to reflect upon and improve practice.

EDCP 508 (032) – History, Theories, and Practices of Alternative Education:
Since the 1980s, schools have been subjected to increased standardization, test-based accountability, and corporate management models, trends often labeled as the global education reform movement or GERM. One of the key effects of GERM on curriculum and teaching has been the search for low-risk ways to meet learning goals, undermining alternative and experimental pedagogical approaches and risk-taking in the classroom. This seminar will explore histories, ideologies, and practices of alternative education movements. A key aim of the course is to examine the various cultures of learning, teaching, and curriculum embedded within the diverse landscape of alternative education and the implications for formal and informal education today. Emphasis will be placed on (but not limited too) the liberal/progressive and anarchist/libertarian traditions of alternative education, including movements such as democratic free schools, unschooling/deschooling, as well as Socialist Sunday Schools, Modern Schools (Ferrer Schools).

EDCP 562 – Introduction to Curriculum Studies:
History and development of the curriculum emphasizing the underlying perspectives that inform curricular choices and activities; principles and issues related to organization, development and evaluation.

EDCP 564 – Texts, Politics, and Ideologies of Curriculum Development:
This course examines the content and ideology of school curriculum, both past and present, within the Canadian context and beyond. The course also includes analyses of political and economic influences on curriculum, materials development, and related discourses.

EDCP 568 – Curricula in their Historical Context:

This course focuses on curriculum history, politics, and theory with specific reference to the scholarship in curriculum studies and related fields. The course examines influences upon, and prominent themes, issues and trends within, the history of the school curriculum in North America and beyond. Students will acquire familiarity with the work of some of the principal scholars conducting research in this area. They will have the opportunity to conduct their own original research using primary and secondary source materials, in order to investigate questions related to a school subject or other topic in which they are interested, and to situate this topic within the wider context of the history of curriculum.

EDCP 601 – Curriculum and Pedagogy: History and Theory:
This seminar is intended for first-year doctoral students. It examines the emergence of contemporary conceptions of curriculum and pedagogy, looking across various historical and theoretical influences. Emphasis is placed on analysis of varied conceptual and political perspectives, explicit and tacit rationales for formal education, and consequent principles that infuse conceptions and enactments of curriculum and pedagogy.