Wayne Au, Ph.D.

Dean & Professor

Wayne Au, PhD

Room: UW1-311
Box: 358531
Email: wayneau@uw.edu


  • Ph.D., Curriculum & Instruction (Curriculum Theory major, Education Policy Studies minor), University of Wisconsin
  • M.I.T., Washington State Teaching Certification in Social Studies, Economics, and Language Arts, The Evergreen State College
  • B.A., Liberal Studies, The Evergreen State College

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.


  • B EDUC 205 Education and Equity in the U.S.
  • B EDUC 431 Secondary Education Social Studies & English Language Arts Methods
  • B EDUC 550 Critical Pedagogy
  • B EDUC 580 Critical Education Policy Studies

Professional Affiliations

  • Editorial Board Member – Rethinking Schools
  • 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


  • Visiting Associate Professor, Faculty of Education and Human Development Education, University of Hong Kong
  • Assistant Professor, Curriculum Studies, Educational Research, Multicultural Education, Department of Secondary Education, California State University, Fullerton
  • 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

Honors & Awards

  • 2019, Distinguished K-12 Educational Leader Award, The Evergreen State College Master in Teaching Program. Olympia, WA.
  • 2019, INDIES book of the Year Awards Winner – Foreword INDIES Gold Winner. Rethinking Ethnic Studies (Cuauhtin, T., Zavala, M., Sleeter, C., & Au, W., eds.)
  • 2019, Skipping Stones Honors Award. Teaching for Black Lives (Watson, D., Hagopian, J., & Au, W. eds.)
  • 2017, Critics’ Choice Award, American Educational Studies Association. For co-authored book, Reclaiming the Multicultural Roots of U.S. Curriculum (with A. Brown & D. Calderon). Award November 4, 2017, Pittsburgh.
  • 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.

Selected Publications

  • Au, W. & Hagopian J. (2021). Bomb threats and Black Lives Matter at school: Teaching and organizing against white supremacy in K-12 education. In, R. Verma & M. Apple (eds.), Disrupting hate in education: Teacher activists, democracy, and global pedagogies of interruption (pp. 76-92). Routledge: New York.
  • Au, W. (2021) Testing for whiteness: How high-stakes, standardized tests promote racism, undercut diversity, and undermine multicultural education. In, H. P. Baptiste & J. H. Writer (eds.), Evolution of Multicultural Education: 21st Century (pp. 99-113). Taylor Francis: New York.
  • Au, W. (2020). California vetoed ethnic studies requirements for public high school students, but the movement grows. The Conversation. November 25, 2020 (re-published across over 2 dozen news outlets).
  • Au, W. (2020, October 27). High-stakes testing, standardization, and inequality in the united states. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. Oxford University Press.
  • Au, W. & Hagopian, J. (2020). How one elementary school sparked a movement to make Black students’ live matter. In, D. Jones & J. Hagopian (eds.), Black lives matter at school: An uprising for educational justice (pp. 33-38). Haymarket Books: Chicago.
  • Au, W. (2020). High-stakes testing: A tool for white supremacy for 100 years. In E. Mayorga, U. Aggarwal, & B. Picower & (eds.), What’s race got to do with it?: How current school reform policy maintains racial and economic inequality (Revised 2nd edition, pp. 13-36). Peter Lang: New York.
  • Hodge, E., Childs, J., & Au, W. (Eds.) (2020). Researching 21st Century Education Policy Through Social Network Analysis. Special issue of the Education policy analysis archives.
  • Hodge, E., Childs, J., & Au, W. (2020). Power, brokers, and agendas: New directions for the use of social network analysis in education policy. Education policy analysis archives.
  • Au, W. (2019). Racial justice is not a choice: White supremacy, high-stakes testing, and the punishment of Black and Brown children. Rethinking Schools, 33(4).
  • Zavala, M., Cuahatin, T., Sleeter, C., & Au, W. (Eds.) (2019). Rethinking Ethnic Studies. Rethinking Schools: Milwaukee, WI.
  • Hagopian, J., Watson, D., & Au, W. (Eds.) (2018). Teaching for Black lives. Rethinking Schools: Milwaukee, WI.
  • Au, W. (2018) A Marxist education: Learning to change the world. Haymarket Books.
  • Au, W. (2018). The socialist case against the SAT. Jacobin. April, 14, 2018.
  • Au, W. (2017). Neoliberalism and teacher education: The contradiction and the dilemma. Teacher Education and Practice, 30(2). 283-286.
  • Au, W. (2017). The dialectical materialism of Paulo Freire’s critical pedagogy. Reflexão e Ação, 25(2). DOI:
  • Au, W. (2017). When multicultural education is not enough. Multicultural Perspectives, 19(3), 147-150.
  • 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

Selected Media Interviews