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Washington State University Factsheets

Doctor of Philosophy Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education

Faculty working with Students: 5
Students: 32
Students receiving assistantships or scholarships: 0%
Priority deadline:
  • Fall December 1
  • Pullman: Yes
Tests required:
  • TOEFL - iBT 80
  • IELTS Band 7

Degree Description:

The Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education (CSSTE) Ph.D. option is a rigorous, flexible, and individually-tailored course of study that focuses on the issues of culture and power in the contemporary and historical contexts of education. Cultural studies includes popular culture and media, social justice, environment, ethics, aesthetics, race, ethnicity, gender, and social class, which are applied to a range of educational sub-fields that include literacy, educational leadership, teacher leadership, school reform, curriculum theory, higher education, science, art, special education, and bilingual/ELL (English Language Learners). The overall goal of the faculty is to articulate a cohesive and supportive community of educational scholarship and practice. While coursework is important, we work to establish a strong program of mentorship in which doctoral candidates are mentored into the world of research, knowledge generation and dissemination, and pedagogical and social action. We are committed to the idea that our scholarly endeavors stimulate positive change in schools and the communities and society those schools serve. Education, whether it takes place in the formal settings of schools and museums or the informal contexts of home and the movie theater, is defined by its cultural context. Cultural studies take these cultural contexts as the essential starting point to build research projects and define teaching practices.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must have a degree from an accredited 4-year institution and a 3.0 or higher cumulative grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale. Complete the WSU Graduate School’s online application, Official transcripts, a supplemental department application, Resume or Vitae, a writing sample, letter of intent, and three letters of recommendation as described on the supplemental department application. Students should have well-developed writing and critical thinking skills. Students should be interested in intellectual research and have a passion for ideas. Students should also maintain a practical orientation remaining grounded in doing good work for their communities.

Student Learning Outcomes:

All graduates will be able to:

  1.  Demonstrates the ability to locate, analyze, and synthesize research literature, and apply that synthesis to problems of practice.
  2.  Demonstrates the ability to effectively communicate scholarly work through written, oral, and/or alternate formats.
  3.  Demonstrates the ability to skillfully inquire into areas of program-related interest.
  4.  Demonstrates scholarly habits of curiosity, inquiry, skepticism, and data-based decision making.
  5.  Demonstrates an understanding and valuing of diversity and social justice through his/her scholarly work.
  6.  Conducts and disseminates original scholarship that demonstrates acquisition and application of new knowledge and theory.
  7.  Demonstrates behavior that indicates he/she is becoming an emerging expert in his/her area of study.

Career Opportunities:

University faculty in cultural studies, social foundations, or related fields; administrator or researcher in a school district or state/national educational organization or non-profit or non-governmental organization.

Career Placements:

Assistant Professor, Eastern Washington University
Academic Counselor, Eastern Washington University
Assistant Professor, Northern Illinois University.
Assistant Professor, University of Portland
Assistant Professor, California State University at Stanislaus.
Assistant Professor, Gonzaga University
Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator for the Province of Alberta

Faculty Members:

Boyd, Ashley, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Professor Boyd’s research centers on issues related to social justice and English Education. With regard to preservice teacher education, she examines pedagogies that seek to enhance the critical consciousness and social justice dispositions of those who plan to enter the profession of teaching. Related to practicing teachers, she investigates how teachers implement texts related to social justice themes including addressing race, class, and gender, as well as how critical approaches can be applied to canonical texts. She also explores how teachers engage in discursive constructions about these issues, investigating the ways that we construct our beliefs and pedagogies through language. As a whole, her work is aimed at broadening traditional notions of multicultural education so as to open space for action-oriented methods that encourage students to see themselves as agents of change in their present contexts.

Kelley, Jane, Ed.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Dr. Kelley’s research is two-fold. First, she applies a critical multicultural analysis to children’s literature in order to bring the ideology of power as it is portrayed in children’s literature. Second, she investigates pedagogical strategies to introduce a critical multicultural analysis to pre-service teachers, service teachers, and graduate students.

Lupinacci, Johnny, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Focuses on how people, specifically educators, learn to both identify and examine destructive habits of modern human culture. His work proposes that, through education, teachers can be leaders in confronting dominant assumptions about existing as individuals separate from and superior to the greater ecological systems to which we belong.

Rud, A.G., Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

A.G. Rud is nationally known for his expertise in the philosophical dimensions of education. His research focuses on the cultural foundations of education, with particular emphasis on the moral dimensions of teacher education, P-12 educational leadership, and higher education. Dr. Rud is president elect of the John Dewey Society and edited its peer-reviewed international journal, Education and Culture, 2004-2010.

Watson, Francene, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

School and community gardens, which is inspired through place-based education, critical pedagogy, the arts, and community action research

Contact Information:

WSU Pullman College of Education
Cleveland Hall 70
PO Box 642114
Pullman, WA 99164-2114
(509)-335-9195 or (509)-335-7016
Fax: (509)-335-9172