Academic Journalist


University of Maryland, 1994, PhD
University of Maryland, 1990, MA


Stephen Petrina is a Professor (Media & Technology Studies) in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the University of British Columbia.

Stephen specializes in Media and Technology Studies (MTS), Science and Technology Studies (STS), Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education (STEM), and of course Curriculum Studies (esp. Metaphysics of Curriculum, and the Sociology of Curriculum and Pedagogy). He is a cultural historian with a current projects on Meducation and Twentieth Century Learning in addition to long-term histories of technotheology and culture, media and technology. Stephen’s expertise necessarily includes the philosophy of technology and the philosophy of research, as opposed to methodology.

As a critical educator and with extensive expertise in critical university studies, Stephen is actively researching academic freedom. He is co-founder and co-Director, with Sandra Mathison and E. Wayne Ross, of the Institute for Critical Education Studies and co-Edits the Institute’s flagship journals Critical Education and Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor, one of the premiere journals in critical university studies. With Sandra and Wayne, he is an academic and citizen journalist posting and reporting at the ICES and Workplace blogs, tweet streams, and timelines, and other media outlets. As media and technology specialist, he practices and teaches the democratic value of descriptive and evaluative opinion.

In addition to the history and philosophy of media and technology and the metaphysics of research, he is exploring the interconnections between digital media and learning within a how we learn media & technology (across the lifespan) framework. The emphasis is on design and engineering cognition.

Other projects include books titled Technology, Religion, Spirituality and the Sacred, Techontologies: The Critical Ontology of Media and Technology, Twentieth Century Learning, and Education, Medicine, and the Psy-ences. This fourth book includes a major article titled “Medical Liberty” published in the December 2008 issue of the Journal of Medical Humanities. Recent major articles or chapters include an analysis of the critique of critique (a la Latour and Ranciere) in The New Critiquette and Old Scholactivism: A Petit Critique of Academic Manners, Managers, Matters, and Freedom.

In 2015, Stephen completed a history of the critique of media and technology. This chapter is forthcoming in Critique in Design and Technology Education. In 2014, he introduced an entirely new paradigm for new media and technologies in “Postliterate Machineries.” This chapter basically spells the end of new literacies.

Stephen has also published a popular textbook titled Advanced Teaching Methods for the Technology Classroom (2007) and a collection of essays on the critical theory of design and technology education. Recent articles appear in the History of Education Quarterly (e.g., “Preschools for Science,” award winning article with Penney Clark and Mona Gleason), History of Psychology, Technology and Culture and the International Journal of Technology and Design Education.

Stephen designs and teaches a range of courses in media and technology studies, STS, and curriculum studies. In addition to EDCP on-campus courses, such as Latour, ANT and STS,  Media Studies, Technology Studies, and Curriculum Studies, he teaches and co-Supervises in the DLC (Digital Learning & Curriculum cohort). An off-campus two-year masters program, the DLC is currently recruiting for the third cohort. He co-designs and teaches media studies and foundations courses in the online Master of Educational Technology program.

Stephen has authored or co-authored 111 publications, including 40 Refereed Articles, 14 Refereed Proceedings, 31 Scholarly Responses and Non-Refereed Publications, 6 Books, and 27 Book Chapters, in addition to dozens of technical reports. He has been awarded $1.5m in competitive research and infrastructure funds, some of which underwrote the design of 3 labs. He has supervised 108 graduate students, including 9 Ph.D. students, to completion and is current Supervisor of 8 graduate students.

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Selected Publications

(Download Brief CV) + (Connect to CV blog)

NOTE: Links to articles and chapters are for UBC course packets.

Petrina, S. (2015). Critique of technology. In P. J. Williams & K. Stables (Ed.), Critique in design and technology education (pp. 1-25). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Petrina, S. (2015). “Scientific Ammunition to Fire at Congress:” Intelligence, reparations and the US Army Air Forces, 1944-1947. Vulcan: International Journal of the Social History of Military Technology, 3.

Wang, Y., Petrina, S. & Feng, F. (in press). Designing VILLAGE (Virtual Immersive Language Learning Environment): Immersion and presence. British Journal of Educational Technology.

Petrina, S. (2014). Postliterate machineries. In J. Dakers (Ed.), New frontiers in technological literacy: Breaking with the past (pp. 29-43). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Wang, Y. & Petrina, S. (2013). Using learning analytics to understand the design of an intelligent language tutor – Chatbot Lucy. International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications, 4(11), 124-131.

Clark, P., Gleason, M. & Petrina, S. (2012). Preschools for science: The Child Study Centre at the University of British Columbia, 1960-1997. History of Education Quarterly, 52(1): 29-61. *Awarded the Canadian History of Education Association’s 2012 Founders’ Prize

Petrina, S. (2012). The New Critiquette and Old Scholactivism: A Petit Critique of Academic Manners, Managers, Matters, and Freedom. Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor, 20, 17-57.

Petrina, S. (2010). Design and engineering cognition. In P. A. Reed & J. LaPorte (Eds.), Research in technology education. Reston, VA: Council on Technology Teacher Education.

Petrina, S. & Rusnak, P. (2010). Technology. In C. Kridel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of curriculum studies (pp. 876-878). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Park, H., Khan, S. & Petrina, S. (2009). ICT in science education: A quasi-experimental study of achievement, attitudes toward science, and career aspirations of Korean middle school students. International Journal of Science Education, 31(8), 993-1012.

Petrina, S. (2008). Medical liberty: Drugless healers confront allopathic doctors, 1910-1931. Journal of Medical Humanities. 29(4), 205-230.

Petrina, S., Feng, F. & Kim, J. (2008). Researching cognition and technology: How we learn across the lifespan. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 18(4), 375-396.

Guo, R. X., Dobson, T. & Petrina, S. (2008). Digital natives, digital immigrants: An analysis of age and ICT competency in teacher education. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 38(3), 235-254.

Nashon, S., Nielson, W. & Petrina, S. (2008). Whatever happened to STS? Preservice physics teachers and the history of quantum mechanics. Science & Education, 17, 387-401.

Petrina, S., Bartosh, O., Guo, R. & Stanley-Wilson, L. (2008). ICT literacies and policies in teacher education: A survey of preservice teachers at the University of British Columbia, 2001-2004. In T. Di Petta (Ed.), The Emperor’s new computer (pp. 89-109). Amsterdam: Sense.

Petrina, S. & Weir, L. (2008). Commercializing academic freedom: R&D, technology transfer, patents, and copyrights. In S. Krishna (Ed.), Technology transfer: Intellectual property rights (pp. 76-88). Hyderabad, India: Amicus Books, ICFAI University Press. (Reprint of article).

Petrina, S. (2007). Advanced teaching methods for the technology classroom. Hershey: Information Sciences, International.

James, K. & Petrina, S. (2007). After-lifelong learning: A eulogium. Taboo, 10(2), 5-23.

Petrina, S. & Guo, R. (2007). Developing a large-scale assessment of technological literacy. In M. Hoepfl & M. Lindstrom (Eds.), Assessment of technology education (pp. 157-180). New York: Glencoe-McGraw Hill.

Brennan, K., Feng, F., Hall, L. & Petrina, S. (2007). On the complexity of technology and the technology of complexity. In. B. Davis (Ed.), Proceedings of the Fourth Complexity Science and Educational Research conference, 47-73.

Petrina, S. (2007). 2020 vision: On the politics of technology. In D. Barlex (Ed.), Design & technology– For the next generation (pp. 32-41). London: Nuffield Foundation.

Petrina, S. (2006). C&I high. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 3(2), 125-147.

Petrina, S. (2006). The medicalization of education: A historiographic synthesis. History of Education Quarterly, 46(1), 503-532.

More Publications

See our Designerly Ways of Being, Knowing, Doing & Learning Symposium at the Technological Learning and Thinking: Culture, Design, Sustainability, Human Ingenuity conference.

Petrina, S. & Wang, Y. (under review, 2014). Media, Technology & Design-Based Research: Designerly ways, means, and ends for maker culture. Special issue of International Journal of Technology and Design Education.

  1. Media, Technology, and Design-Based Research: Designerly Ways, Means, and Ends for Maker Culture (Stephen Petrina & Yifei Wang)

Feature Articles

  1. Designing Immersive Language Learning Environments in Virtual Worlds (Yifei Wang, Stephen Petrina & Franc Feng)
  2. Girls Designing Games, Media, Robots, Selves and Culture (PJ Rusnak & Stephen Petrina)
  3. Designing Educational Games for Modeling Adaptive Emotional Agents: Heroes of Math Island (Mirela Gutica & Stephen Petrina)
  4. Designing Chatbots for Learning (Yifei Wang & Stephen Petrina)
  5. Emotional Design: Perspectives of Designers (Mirela Gutica & Stephen Petrina)

Maker Methodologies

  1. Arts & Crafts-Based Research: Maker Methodology I (Stephen Petrina +)
  2. Design-Based Research: Maker Methodology II (Stephen Petrina +)

Brief Articles

  1. Design•Make•Play: Evocative and Disclosive Power (PJ Rusnak, Stephen Petrina, Franc Feng & Yifei Wang)
  2. Teen Designs on Gaming in the Classroom (Peter Halim & Stephen Petrina)
  3. Learning by Design: Youth Building and Programming Robots (Fareed Teja & Stephen Petrina)
  4. Concerns for the Good Life: Designing Practices and Things (Yu-Ling Lee & Stephen Petrina)
  5. Demystifying Black Boxes: Design, Power and Technological Concern (Stephen Petrina & Richard Helem)
  6. Still Life with Spoon: Dimensioning and Disclosing Technology (Franc Feng & Stephen Petrina)
  7. Design & Engineering Cognition, Ethical Know-How and Law: Video Design-Based Research and Cyberbullying (Stephen Petrina, Franc Feng & Yifei Wang)




Downloads for Students and Teachers:

Download history & geography resource book: Change and Technology in the United States: A Resource Book for Studying the Geography and History of Technology.

Download Media Studies Guides for Grades 11-12

  1. Media Studies 11-12 Textbook (written by ETEC 531 students 2013w)
  2. Media Studies 11-12 Textbook (written by ETEC 531 students 2013s)
  3. Media Studies 11-12 Textbook (written by EDCP 481 students 2011)
  4. Media Studies 11-12 Textbook (written by EDCP 481 students 2010)

Research Projects

For descriptions of Research projects, see the HWL blog

Students Supervised

Please see the HWL blog or the Technology Studies blog

Courses Taught

For syllabus and lecture notes, etc. of courses I teach, Please see the HWL blog, STS blogMedia & Technology Studies courses blog or the Technology Studies blog