Center for Anti-Oppressive Education


Definition of "Anti-Oppressive Education"

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Kevin K. Kumashiro, Ph.D., is the founding director of the Center for Anti-Oppressive Education (CAOE).

Starting in July 2013, he has been serving as dean of the School of Education at the University of San Francisco. (View the Chronicle of Higher Education's profile here.)

Previously, he was professor of Asian American Studies and Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he was formerly Chair of Educational Policy Studies, Interim Co-Director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy, and Coordinator of Asian American Studies. He served as the primary investigator and director of the UIC AANAPISI Initiative, funded by $4 million in U.S. Department of Education grants to support Asian American and Pacific Islander students in higher education.

He is currently the president (2012-2014) of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME), and as president-elect, he served as the chair of its 21st and 22nd annual international conferences in 2011 and 2012. He is also a founding member of the Chicagoland Researchers and Advocates for Transformative Education (CReATE), which produces research briefs and organizes public events that aim to reframe the debates on public-school reforms in Chicago.

His research, teaching, and activism are redefining the field of "anti-oppressive education" as he develops new approaches to addressing issues of social justice in schools.

A Researcher

Dr. Kumashiro has written groundbreaking articles on anti-oppressive education:

(2010) "Seeing the Bigger Picture: Troubling Movements to End Teacher Education." Journal of Teacher Education, 61(1/2), 56-65. Abstract available here.

(2002) "Against Repetition: Addressing Resistance to Anti-Oppressive Change in the Practices of Learning, Teaching, Supervising, and Researching." Harvard Educational Review, 72(1), 67-92. Reprinted in Race and Higher Education: Rethinking Pedagogy in Diverse College Classrooms (Howell & Tuitt, Eds., 2003). Abstract available here.

(2001) "‘Posts’ Perspectives on Anti-Oppressive Education in Social Studies, English, Mathematics, and Science Classrooms." Educational Researcher, 30(3), 3-12. Reprinted in Annual Editions: Multicultural Education 2002-2003. Entire article available here.

(2000) "Toward a Theory of Anti-Oppressive Education." Review of Educational Research, 70(1), 25-53.

Additional articles have appeared in other leading educational journals, including JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, QSE: International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Multicultural Perspectives, Race Ethnicity and Education, Radical Teacher, Teaching Education, Theory Into Practice, and Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy.

Dr. Kumashiro is the author or editor of nine books on anti-oppressive education and activism:

Bad Teacher!: How Blaming Teachers Distorts the Bigger Picture (February 2012, Teachers College Press) takes aim at the current debate on education reform, paying particular attention to the ways that scapegoating public-school teachers, teacher unions, and teacher education masks the real, systemic problems. It demonstrates how current trends, like market-based reforms and fast-track teacher certification programs are creating overwhelming obstacles to achieving an equitable education for all children. Bad Teacher! highlights the common ways that both the public and influential leaders think about the problems and solutions for public education, and suggests ways to help us see the bigger picture and reframe the debate. More information, including reviews and the table of contents, available here or at

Teaching toward Democracy: Educators as Agents of Change (July 2010, Paradigm Publishers) examines the contested space of schooling and school reform with a focus on the unique challenges and opportunities that teaching in a democratic society provides. Co-authored by William Ayers, Erica Meiners, Therese Quinn, and David Stovall, and part of The Teacher's Toolkit series, edited by Brad Olsen. More information, including reviews and the table of contents, available here or at

Revised Edition: Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning Toward Social Justice (2009, Routledge) reflects on the author's experiences as a teacher and teacher educator as it examines implications of various theories of teaching, learning, and learning to teach against oppression. It begins by examining common as well as alternative models for teacher education, and concludes with examples and analyses of lessons in six content areas. Foreword by Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings; Afterword by Dr. William F. Pinar. More information, including reviews and the table of contents, available here or at

The Seduction of Common Sense: How the Right Has Framed the Debate on America's Schools (March 2008, Teachers College Press) examines current education policy initiatives from the political Right and the political Left in the United States. highlighting successful strategies by the Right to frame the debate, and possible directions for anti-oppressive reframings from a broader Left. Forewords by Herbert Kohl and William Ayers. More information available here or at

Six Lenses for Anti-Oppressive Education: Partial Stories, Improbable Conversations (2007, Peter Lang) brings together scholars from across North America who offer analyses of and recommendations for K-12 education and teacher education, especially regarding barriers to anti-oppressive education. Authors not only present their own study, but also engage in "conversations" about each other's chapters. Co-edited by Dr. Bic Ngo. More information available here or at

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: The State of Research is a special issue of the journal, Race Ethnicity and Education (2006) that brings together leading scholars to examine the state of research and offer recommendations on the schooling of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. More information available here or at Co-edited by Dr. Roland Sintos Coloma.

Restoried Selves (2004, Harrington Park Press) presents the autobiographies of twenty anti-oppressive activists and tell a range of life-stories that counter the silence and stereotypes often surrounding their identities, communities, and experiences. Advanced praise calls Restoried Selves "inspiring," "an important and timely political intervention," and an opportunity "to validate, honor, and dignify the voices of people who for too long have remained silent." More information, including reviews and the table of contents, available here or at

Troubling Education (2002, RoutledgeFalmer) draws on interviews with anti-oppressive activists as it explores new insights on teaching and learning. It has been praised as "the new benchmark," "a rare alternative to oversimplified, highly abstract, or technologizing approaches to social and cultural difference," and "a book that will be discussed for years." More information, including reviews and the table of contents, available here or at Troubling Education is a recipient of the 2003 Myers Outstanding Book Award (

Troubling Intersections of Race and Sexuality (2001, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers) blends articles from various researchers with autobiographies of youth. It has been praised as "a milestone," "the first of its kind," and "a powerful tool for understanding intersections of race and sexuality and the impact of this intersection in the daily lives of students and teachers." More information, including reviews and a sample chapter, available here or at

In addition to his own research, Dr. Kumashiro supports the research of others in this field. He has served or currently serves on the editorial boards of the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Researcher, Ethnoscapes, Journal of Gay and Lesbian Issues in Education, Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement, and Teachers College Press, as well as the advisory boards of the Diversity Resources Center at Virginia Tech and the International Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies. In recent years, he has served as an external reviewer for such journals as Anthropology and Education Quarterly, Canadian Journal of Education/Revue canadienne de l’education, Cultural Studies – Critical Methodologies, Educational Researcher, Equity and Excellence in Education, International Journal of Educational Policy, Research and Practice, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Review of Educational Research, Teaching and Teacher Education, and Teaching Education. He has served on the Program Committee and Awards Committee for the Teaching and Teacher Education Division of AERA, and on the Awards Committee and Equity Committee for the Curriculum Studies Division of AERA. He has also been a member of various professional and advocacy associations, including the National Association for Asian Pacific American Education, the National Association for the Education and Advancement of Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese Americans, the Association for Asian American Studies, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, and the National Association for Multicultural Education.

A Teacher and Teacher Educator

Dr. Kumashiro has taught various disciplines and grade levels in private and public elementary and secondary schools in the United States and abroad. He has taught and supervised student teachers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was a Minority Scholar-in-Residence at Swarthmore College, was on the faculty of education at Bates College, and was a noted scholar in residence at the University of British Columbia. Most recently, he was a senior program specialist in human and civil rights at the National Education Association, where he coordinated the National Training Program on Safety, Bias, and GLBT Issues and the National Summit on Asian and Pacific Islander Issues in Education (which resulted in the groundbreaking report, The Status of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Education: Beyond the 'Model Minority' Stereotype, downloadable here). He has coordinated professional development opportunities for educators and given numerous presentations and workshops for students and faculty across the United States, including with educator organizations (American Federation of Teachers, Minnesota Literacy Council, National Association for Multicultural Education, National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education, National Education Association, Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation), school districts (Chicago Public Schools, Lewiston-Auburn School Districts, Madison Metropolitan School District), and numerous colleges and universities across the United States and around the world (Bukkyo University, Japan; Monash University, Australia; Queensland University of Technology, Australia; Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia; University of British Columbia, Canada; University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa; University of Melbourne, Australia; University of Regina, Canada; Uppsala University, Sweden). He has served and continues to serve as a consultant for various school districts and both state and federal departments of education.

Dr. Kumashiro received his Ph.D. from the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He draws on research as well as his experiences in K-12 classrooms and teacher-education programs to design and facilitate professional-development events. Many of the activities he plans expand, reflect on, and even critique innovative lessons that he designed and taught in his previous courses for student teachers. Through his teaching, Dr. Kumashiro aims to trouble and problematize common and commonsensical approaches to teaching while demonstrating the usefulness and the changes made possible by cutting-edge theories of anti-oppressive education. He strives to teach in ways that model his theories.

Dr. Kumashiro has worked with many of the leading thinkers in the field of anti-oppressive education, and draws on these relationships when planning events.

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