Joseph J. Ferrare

Joseph Ferrare

Assistant Professor

B.A., Political Science, Iowa State University
M.A., Political Science, University of Connecticut
Ph.D., Curriculum Theory and Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Office: UW2-212
Email: jferrare@uw.edu
Phone: 425-352-3801

Website: www.josephferrare.com

My scholarly interests center on education policy and research methods. I primarily focus my work on the reform movements reshaping the public education system and the role of public policy and social networks in influencing these changes. I am also interested in learning new ways to use statistical models, network analysis, and data visualization practices to better inform my work and research in public policy more generally.


I offer courses in the areas of research methods (e.g., statistics, network analysis, research design, and data visualization) and public policy. In all of these courses, I understand the classroom as a space where people can challenge and revise their prior assumptions through an ongoing juxtaposition of ideas and concepts. This requires putting everything on the table for scrutiny and learning to be comfortable with the tension that arises when ideas and concepts come into conflict.

Recent Courses Taught

  • BIS 232: Introduction to Data Visualization
  • BIS 215: Understanding Statistics
  • BIS 443: Education Policy and the Economy
  • BIS 447: Network Analysis & Visualization
  • BPOLST 594: Research Design


I am currently involved in a variety of projects examining different aspects of education policy and reform movements across the K-16 system. One of those studies involves using statewide longitudinal data to estimate the impacts of Indiana’s school choice policies (charter schools, virtual schools, vouchers, magnets) on outcomes including school discipline, high school graduation, and college enrollment. This project is a collaboration with colleagues from University of Kentucky and University of Notre Dame and is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (Award # R305A190340).

In a series of interrelated projects, I am also working on advancing the use of network analysis in ways that can better inform education policy – from the work of community activists and organizations to federal policymaking institutions. Part of this work is funded by the Spencer Foundation and involves numerous collaborators. These projects are generating insights about how networks are reshaping the public education system, the emergence and change of beliefs about public education, and the sources of information used to influence public perceptions of policy problems.

I view the different facets of my research as linked to a broader, long-term project of learning if and how our educational institutions can be more responsive to the structures and narratives that sustain various forms of inequity in society.

Selected Publications

Ferrare, Joseph J. and Kate Phillippo. 2021. “Conflict Theory, Revised: A Framework for Understanding Struggles Over Education Policy.” Educational Policy OnlineFirst:1-37.

Ferrare, Joseph J., Sarah Galey-Horn, Lorien Jasny, and Laura Carter-Stone. 2021. “Measuring Issue Preferences, Idea Brokerage, and Research-Use in Policy Networks: A Case Study of the Policy Innovators in Education (PIE) Network.” Pp. 101-127 in Knowledge Brokers, Networks and the Policymaking Process, edited by Matthew Weber and Itzhak Yanovitzky. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Ferrare, Joseph J. 2020. “Embedding Networks in Fields: Toward an Expanded Model of Relational Analysis in Education.” Pp. 45-67 in Relational Sociology and Research on Schools, Colleges and Universities, edited by W. G. Tierney and S. Kolluri. New York, NY: SUNY Press.

Fitzpatrick, Brian, Mark Berends, Joseph J. Ferrare, and R. Joseph Waddington. 2020. “Virtual Illusion: Comparing Student Achievement and Teacher and Classroom Characteristics in Online and Brick and Mortar Charter Schools.” Educational Researcher 49(3):161-175.

Ferrare, Joseph J. 2020. “Charter School Outcomes.” Pp. 160-173 in Handbook of Research on School Choice (2nd Edition), edited by M. Berends, A. Primus, and M. G. Springer. New York, NY: Routledge. 

Galey-Horn, Sarah, Sarah Reckhow, Joseph J. Ferrare and Lorien Jansy. 2020. “Building Consensus: Idea Brokerage in Teacher Policy Networks.” American Educational Research Journal 57(2):872-905.

Galey-Horn, Sarah and Joseph J. Ferrare. 2020. “Using Policy Network Analysis to Understand Ideological Convergence in Educational Subsystems.” Education Policy Analysis Archives 28(118):1-23.

Ferrare, Joseph J. and Julia Miller. 2020. “Making Sense of Persistence in Scientific Purgatory: A Multi-Institutional Analysis of Instructors in Introductory STEM Courses.” The Journal of Higher Education 91(1):113-138.

Lee, You-Geon and Joseph J. Ferrare. 2019. "Finding One's Place or Losing the Race? The Consequences of STEM Departure for College Dropout and Degree Completion." The Review of Higher Education 43(1):221-261.

Ferrare, Joseph J. 2019. “A Multi-Institutional Analysis of Instructional Beliefs and Practices in Gateway Courses to the Sciences.” CBE-Life Sciences Education 18(2):1-16.

Ferrare, Joseph J. and R. Renee Setari. 2018. “Converging on Choice: The Inter-State Flow of Foundation Dollars to Charter School Organizations.” Educational Researcher 47(1):34-45.

Ferrare, Joseph J. 2016. “Intergenerational Education Mobility Trends by Race and Gender in the United States.” AERA Open 2(4):1-17.

Ferrare, Joseph J. and Katherine Reynolds. 2016. “Has the Elite Foundation Agenda Spread Beyond the Gates? An Organizational Network Analysis of Non-Major Philanthropic Giving in K12 Education.” American Journal of Education 123(1): 137-169.

Au, Wayne and Joseph J. Ferrare (eds.). 2015. Mapping Corporate Education Reform: Power and Policy Networks in the Neoliberal State. New York: Routledge.

Ferrare, Joseph J. and Matthew T. Hora. 2014. “Cultural Models of Teaching and Learning in Math and Science: Exploring the Intersections of Culture, Cognition, and Pedagogical Situations.” The Journal of Higher Education 85(6):792-825.

Au, Wayne and Joseph J. Ferrare. 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):1-24, www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 17387.

Ferrare, Joseph J. 2013. “The Duality of Courses and Students: A Field-Theoretic Analysis of Secondary School Course-Taking.” Sociology of Education 86(2):139-157.