Wayne Au, Ph.D.









Email: wayneau@uw.edu

Box: 358531

Academic Interests

Dr. Au’s academic interests broadly encompass critical education theory and teaching for social justice. More specifically his research focuses on educational equity, high-stakes testing, curriculum theory, educational policy studies and social studies education.

Teaching Activities

B EDUC 250 - Topics in Education and Popular Culture: Hip Hop and Education
B EDUC 250 - Topics in Education and Popular Culture: Taking Teachers to the Movies
B EDUC 502 - Teachers' Self-Understanding
B EDUC 504 - Theories of Organizational Change and School Reform
B EDUC 558 - Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment in Secondary Social Studies and History

Professional Activities

Editorial Board Member – Rethinking Schools (www.rethinkingschools.org)
National Council for the Social Studies
Washington State Council for the Social Studies
American Educational Research Association
American Educational Studies Association
National Association of Multicultural Education

Honors and Awards

2017 William H. Watkins Award for Scholar Activism, Society of Professors of Education, Awarded April 29, 2017, San Antonio. 

2015 Distinguished Teaching Award, UW Bothell. University of Washington system-wide award for excellence in Teaching. 

2015 Distinguished Recognition of Scholar Activism Award, The American Educational Research Association Critical Educators for Social Justice Special Interest Group. Award received April 16, 2015, Chicago. 

2012 Early Career Scholar Award, The American Educational Research Association Critical Issues in Curriculum and Cultural Studies Special Interest Group. Award received April 16, 2012, Vancouver, B.C. 

2010 Skipping Stones Multicultural Resources Honors Award, Rethinking Multicultural Education Teaching for Racial and Cultural Justice (Au, W., ed.)

2010 Excellence in Creative and Scholarly Activities Award, California State University, Fullerton.

2006-2007 Arvil S. Barr Fellow, awarded to one outstanding advanced doctoral candidate based on a school of education-wide competition. School of Education, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

2002 Early Career Advocate for Justice Award, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), honoring “individuals in teacher education who firmly support equity issues, who have linked their work with social justice and teacher education, and whose work shows evidence that it will have impact over time.”


Ph.D., Curriculum & Instruction (Curriculum Theory major, Education Policy Studies minor), University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Master in Teaching (Washington State Credentials in Social Studies, Economics, and Language Arts). The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA.

Bachelors of Liberal Studies, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA.


Assistant Professor, Department of Secondary Education, California State University, Fullerton (Curriculum Studies, Educational Research, Multicultural Education)

Student Teacher Clinical Supervisor, Secondary Social Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Social Studies and Language Arts Teacher, Berkeley High School, Berkeley Unified Schools, Berkeley, CA.

Social Studies and Language Arts Teacher, Garfield High School, Seattle Public Schools, Seattle, WA.

Social Studies and Language Arts Teacher, and Head Teacher, Middle College High School – South Seattle Community College, Seattle Public Schools, Seattle, WA.

Practitioner in Residence, Women’s Center for Intercultural Studies, St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN.

History Teacher, Upward Bound, South Seattle Community College, Seattle, WA.

Tutor/Counselor, Residence Manager, Dorm Director, Teacher, Upward Bound, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA.

Select Publications

Au, W., Brown, A., & Calderon, D. (2016). Reclaiming the Multicultural Roots of U.S. Curriculum: Communities of Color and Official Knowledge in Education. New York: Teachers College Press.

Au, W. (2016). Techies, the Tea Party, and Race to the Top: The rise of the new upper middle class and tensions in the rightist politics of federal education reform. The Educational Forum, 80(1), 208-224.

Au, W. (2016). Meritocracy 2.0: High-stakes, standardized testing as a racial project of neoliberal multiculturalism. Education Policy, 30(1). 39-62

Au, W. & Ferrare, J. J. (2015). Mapping corporate education reform: Politics and power in the neoliberal state. New York: Routledge.

Apple, M. W. & Au, W. (Eds.) (2015). Routledge major works in critical education (Vols. 1-4). New York: Routledge.

Knoester, M. & Au, W. (2015). Standardized testing and school segregation: Like tinder to fire? Race Ethnicity & Education, 20(1). 1-14. DOI: 10.1080/13613324.2015.1121474

Au, W. & Ferrare, J. P. (2014). Sponsors of policy: A network analysis of wealthy elites, their affiliated philanthropies, and charter school reform in Washington State. Teachers College Record, 116(8). 1-33.

Brown, A. L. & Au, W. (2014). Race, memory and master narratives: A critical essay on U.S. curriculum history. Curriculum Inquiry, 44(3), 358-389. doi: 10.1111/curi.12049

Au, W. (Ed.) (2014). Rethinking multicultural education: Teaching for racial and cultural justice (2nd Revised Edition). Milwaukee: Rethinking Schools.

Au, W. & Bollow Tempel, M. (Eds.) (2012). Pencils down: Rethinking testing and accountability in public schools. Milwaukee: Rethinking Schools, Ltd.

Au, W. (2011). Critical curriculum studies: Education, consciousness, and the politics of knowing. New York: Routledge.

Au, W. (2009). Unequal by design: High-stakes testing and the standardization of inequality. New York: Routledge.

Apple, M.W., Au, W., and Gandin, L. (2009). The Routledge international handbook of critical education. New York: Routledge.

Au, W. (2009). Rethinking multicultural education: Teaching for racial and cultural justice. Milwaukee: Rethinking Schools Ltd.

Au, W. (2009). Obama, where art thou?: Hoping for change in U.S. education policy. Harvard Educational Review, 79(2), 309-320.

Au, W. (2009). Social studies, social justice: W(h)ither the social studies in high-stakes testing? Teacher Education Quarterly, 36(1), 43-58.

Au, W. (2008). Devising inequality: A Bernsteinian analysis of high-stakes testing and social reproduction in education. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 29(6), 639-651.

Chang, B. & Au. W. (2007-2008). You’re Asian, how could you fail math?: Unmasking the myth of the model minority. Rethinking Schools, 22(2), 14-19.

Apple, M. W., & Au, W. (2007). Politics, theory, and reality in critical pedagogy. [Chinese translation by Yan Guan Cai]. Comparative Education Review, 29(9), 1-9.

Au, W. (2007). High-stakes testing and curricular control: A qualitative metasynthesis. Educational Researcher, 36(5), 258-267.