Wayne Au, Ph.D.

Interim Dean and Professor








Room: UW1-311
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 550: Critical Pedagogy
B EDUC 5XX: Critical Education Policy Studies
B EDUC 205: Education and Equity in the U.S.
B EDUC 431: Secondary Ed. Social Studies/English Language Arts Methods 

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

Recent Honors and 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.


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.


Visiting Associate Professor, Faculty of Education and Human Development Education University of Hong Kong

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. & 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. https://theconversation.com/california-vetoed-ethnic-studies-requirements-for-public-high-school-students-but-the-movement-grows-148486. (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. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.013.1123

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. Retrieved from DOI: https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.28.5874

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). https://www.rethinkingschools.org/articles/racial-justice-is-not-a-choice.

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. https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/04/against-the-sat-testing-meritocracy-race-class.

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.17058/rea.v25i2.9814.

Au, W. (2017). When multicultural education is not enough. Multicultural Perspectives, 19(3), 147-150. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/15210960.2017.1331741

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

Select Media and Interviews

“Wayne Au to lead diversity initiatives”: https://www.uwb.edu/news/march-2018/chief-diversity-officer

“Wayne Au book influencing educators on race”: https://www.uwb.edu/news/october-2018/au-book

Featured in Evergreen Magazine “Teaching to Change the World” : https://www.evergreen.edu/magazine/2014fall-winter/teaching-to-change-the-world

Eve Ewing interviewed by Wayne Au https://vimeo.com/373512228

Au, W. (2019). Learning to change the world: Interview with Wayne Au (French). Les Cahiers de Pedagogies Radicales (1). September 2019. https://pedaradicale.hypotheses.org/2664.

Au, W. (2018) Interview for Loud and Clear: Education for Liberation. July 23, 2018. https://www.spreaker.com/user/radiosputnik/education-for-liberation_2.