Social and Cultural Foundations Program at University of Washington Banner by Jeom Ja Yeo
students University of Washington Seattle Campus


At any snapshot in time there are usually between 12-15 students, masters and doctoral, focusing their work in Social and Cultural Foundations. Arriving from an array of backgrounds (e.g., as former teachers, as students in other fields, as educational program directors, etc.), students in Foundations pursue a variety of research interests in the history and philosophy of education ranging from the cultural history of schooling during the Progressive Era as depicted in film to the philosophical nature of bullying in schools to the history of school reform politics in Seattle Public Schools to the positioning of education in contemporary theories of justice.

In addition to offering a short peek into the work of some current students in Foundations, this page also offers a peek into the work of some of our alumni. While many pursue graduate work in Foundations in order to pursue careers as professors in a college or university, others often pursue work in Foundations in order to pursue new careers or enrich existing ones in a variety of other educational contexts, including k-12 policy advocacy, teaching in k-12 schools, and work in educational foundations and social justice movements.


Gordon C. Lee Dissertation Award Winners

We are very proud of the current and past work of students in Foundations, and particularly proud of the fact that in recent years the College of Education’s Gordon C. Lee Dissertation Award, awarded annually for the most outstanding dissertation in the college, has been awarded to five Foundations students.

(2006) Jean Snell, “A philosophical inquiry into the promise to close the achievement gap: rhetoric or resolution?” Dr. Snell is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland.

(2004) Bonnie McDaniel, ”Autonomy, gender, and democratic education.”

(2003) Stephen Woolworth, “Conflict, collaboration, and concession: a study of the rise and fall of medical authority in Seattle Public Schools, 1892-1922.” Dr. Woolworth is currently an Assistant Professor at Pacific Lutheran University.

(2000) Charles Bingham, “Theorizing recognition in education.” Dr. Bingham is currently an Assistant Professor at Simon Fraser University

(1996) Jaylynne Hutchinson, “Education and dignity: Paying attention to stories.” Dr. Hutchinson is currently an Associate Professor at Ohio University.



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