Tom Popkewitz is a theorist and professor on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Education. By his own admission, Popkewitz’s studies are concerned with “the knowledge or systems of reason that govern educational policy and research related to pedagogy and teacher education,” and his research includes “historical, ethnographic, and comparative studies of national educational reforms and the education sciences in Asia, Europe, Latin America, Southern Africa, and the US.”

An odd thing happens on the way to school. As the sorcerer of the middle ages sought to turn lead into gold, modern teaching and teacher education produce a magical transformation in the disciplines of the sciences, social sciences, and humanities […] I call this transformation an alchemy.

– TOM POPKEWITZ, How the Alchemy Makes Evidence, Inquiry, and Exclusion (2002)

I am particularly fond of his historical projects, which are always provocative, insightful, challenging, and inspiring.  In fact, his concept of the “alchemy of school subjects” featured prominently in my dissertation and will likely find its way into much of my future scholarship. He also happens to be the doctoral advisor of my doctoral advisor, Lynn Fendler, so every now and then I like to mull over the idea that he and I share in common at least a few micrograms of cosmic brain dust.

Place of Work | University of Wisconsin – Madison
Title | Professor, Department of Curriculum & Instruction
University Webpage |