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)

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)

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.

Petrina, S., & Ross, E. W. (2016, October 7). Vancouver faces stark contrasts between funding for K to 12 and university. Vancouver Observer. Retrieved from http://www.vancouverobserver.com/opinion/vancouver-faces-stark-contrasts-between-funding-k-12-and-university?page=0,1

CBC Radio One, The 180 with Jim Brown (October 4, 2015). Interviewed by Jim Brown on the corporatization of the university and Telus/University of Victoria MBA program; Do private programs belong in public universities?

Roundhouse Radio 98.3 (October 2, 2015). Half-hour interview by Minelle Mahtani on her show “Sense of Place” about issues of race and place.

CFAX 1070 (Victoria, BC, August 21, 2015). Half-hour live, on-air interview with host Pamela McCall about the leadership crisis and academic freedom at UBC.

CBC Vancouver, News at 6 (August 17, 2015). Interviewed by Pierre Martineau on departure of Arvind Gupta as UBC president and Prof. Jennifer Berdahl’s claim that UBC Board of Governors Chair John Montalbano violated her academic freedom.

CBC Radio Vancouver, Early Edition (August 11, 2015). Interviewed by host Rick Cluff on the circumstances relevant to the unexpected resignation of University of British Columbia president Arvind Gupta.

The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY, February 5, 2015). Interviewed and quoted in article on University of Louisville provost’s decision-making with regard to former dean Robert Felner, including his criminal activity and abusive treatment of university employees (“Willihnganz stepping down as U of L provost”).

Selected Publications

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

Recent Books

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.

DeLeon, A. P., & Ross, E. W. (Eds.). (2010). Critical theories, radical pedagogies, and social education: New perspectives for social studies education. Rotterdam: Sense.
[Winner of the 2011 “Critics Choice Award” from the American Educational Studies Association]

Gabbard, D., & Ross, E. W. (Eds.). (2008). Education under the security state. New York: Teachers College Press.

Mathison, S., & Ross, E. W. (Eds.). (2008). Battleground schools (Vols. 1-2). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
[Winner of the 2010 “Critics Choice Award” from the American Educational Studies Association]

Mathison, S., & Ross, E. W. (Eds.). (2008). Nature and limits of standards-based reform and assessment. New York: Teachers College Press.

Ross, E. W., & Gibson, R. (Eds.). (2007). Neoliberalism and education reform. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
[Winner of the 2008 “Critics Choice Award” from the American Educational Studies Association]

Recent Articles & Book Chapters:

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.

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.

Ross, E. W., Gabbard, D., Kesson, K., Mathison, S., Vinson, K. D. (2016, June 15). Building a progressive agenda for public schools. Living in Dialogue. Retrieved from http://www.livingindialogue.com/building-progressive-agenda-public-schools/

Ross, E. W. (2016). Peter McLaren, Life in Schools: An Introduction to Critical Pedagogy in the Foundations of Education (1988). In J. L. DeVitis (Ed.), Popular educational classics: A reader. New York: Peter Lang.

Ross, E. W. (2016). The courage of hopelessness: Creative disruption of everyday life in the classroom. In W. Journell (Ed.), Reassessing the social studies curriculum: Promoting critical civic engagement in a politically polarized, post-9/11 world (pp. 69-82)Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Delgado, S. X., Gautreaux, M., & Ross, E. W. (2016). La literatura infantil como herramienta didáctica para enseñar sobre poder, tiranía y justicia social. Íber: Didáctica de les Ciencias Sociales, Geografia e Historia, 82, 50-55.

Ross, E. W. (2016). Broadening the circle of critical pedagogy. In N. McCrary & E. W. Ross (Eds.), Working for social justice inside and outside the classroom: A community of teachers, researchers, and activists (pp. 206-218). New York: Peter Lang.

Ross, E. W. (2015). Dr. Dewey or: How I learned to stop worrying about where ideas come from and love critical pedagogy. In B. J. Porfilio & D. R. Ford (Eds.), Leaders in critical pedagogy: Narratives for understanding and solidarity (141-155). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Ross, E. W. (2015). Renovació de renovació pedagògica : Què hem de mantenir i què hem de canviar en la pedagogia crítica? [Renewing pedagogical renovation: What should we keep and what should we change about critical pedagogy?] Perspectiva Escolar, 382, 6-13.

Ross, E. W., Mathison, S., Vinson, K. D. (2015). Social studies education and standards-based education reform in North America: Curriculum standardization, high-stakes testing, and resistance. Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Educativos, 10(1), 19-48. Retrieved from http://latinoamericana.ucaldas.edu.co/downloads/Latinoamericana10(1)_2.pdf

Petrina, S., Mathison, S., & Ross, E. W. (2015). Threat convergence: The new academic work, bullying, mobbing and freedom. Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor, 24, 58-69. Retrieved from http://ices.library.ubc.ca/index.php/workplace/article/view/186137

Fanelli, C., & Ross, E. W. (2015). Critical education and insurgent pedagogies: An interview with E. Wayne Ross. Alternate Routes: A Journal of Critical Social Research, 26, 405-422. Retrieved from http://www.alternateroutes.ca/index.php/ar/article/view/22329/18121

Gibson, R., & Ross, E. W. (2015). Education and empire: Education for class consciousness. In P. R. Carr & B. J. Porfilio (Eds.), The phenomenon of Obama and the agenda for education: Can hope (still) audaciously trump neoliberalism? (2nd ed.). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Press.

Ross, E. W. (2015). Teaching for change: Social education and critical knowledge of everyday life (pp. 141-147). In S. Totten (Ed.), The importance of teaching social issues: Our pedagogical creeds. New York: Routledge.



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 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.