Nancy Beadie's research focuses on historical relationships among education, economics, and state formation at local, state, national, and international levels, including those represented in her book, Education and the Creation of Capital in the Early American Republic (Cambridge University Press, 2010), which won the Outstanding Book Award from the History of Education Society in 2012. She has also written extensively on the history of women in education.
This work includes two articles for which she received the prize for Best Article Published in a Refereed Journal awarded by the History of Education Society, once in 2008 for a piece co-written with Kim Tolley, "Socio-Economic Incentives to Teach in New York and North Carolina: Toward a More Complex Model of Teacher Labor Markets, 1800-1850," History of Education Quarterly 46: 1 (Feb. 2006): 36-72; and once in 2000 for "Female Students and Denominational Affiliation: Sources of Success Among Nineteenth Century Academies," American Journal of Education 107 (2), 75-115. Other publications include Chartered Schools: Two Hundred Years of Independent Academies in the United States, 1727-1925 (New York: Routledge Press, 2002), co-edited with Kim Tolley
In her current work, Dr. Beadie shifts her focus chronologically and geographically to look at the particularly strong education provisions adopted by some states in the U.S. West (including Washington State) in the late 19th century, during the same period that southern states adopted considerably weakened education provisions under Jim Crow. She is also extending this analysis of Education during "Greater Reconstruction" in the U.S. to comparisons with the creation of national school systems in other countries .
Dr. Beadie teaches courses on the history of education and education reform in the United States, the history of urban education, education as the transfer of culture, historical research methods in education, and the social history of gender in education. She is Associate Editor of History of Education Quarterly (U.S.) and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for History of Education Review (Australia). She has served as President of the History of Education Society (U.S.) and as Vice-President of the American Educational Research Association for Division F (History and Historiography).