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Wide shot of Cubberley

David F. Labaree


I am a sociologically oriented historian of education who seeks to explore some of the major processes and patterns that define the relationship between education and society in the United States. In my research, I aim to analyze the evolving institutional character of educational organizations (such as the high school, community college, education school, and university) and the evolving role of key groups that affect education (such as teachers, teacher educators, and reform movements) in the context of the broader purposes and functions of education in a liberal democracy. Within this broad approach to the subject, I have focused in the past on two major areas of study. One is the pressure exerted by markets on democratic education; the other is the peculiar nature of education schools as they have evolved over the years in the U.S.

Other Titles

Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education, Emeritus

Program Affiliations

SHIPS (PhD): Educational Policy
SHIPS (PhD): Higher Education
SHIPS (PhD): History of Education
SHIPS (PhD): Sociology of Education

Research Interests

Higher Education | History of Education | Psychology

See a full list of GSE Faculty research interests >

Recent Publications

Labaree, D. (2007). Citizens and consumers: Changing Visions of Virtue and Opportunity in US Education in the 19 th and 20 th Centuries. Presented at the Conference on “Republican and Non-Republican Imaginations,” University of Applied Sciences.

Labaree, D. F. (2018). Public schools for private gain: The declining American commitment to serving the public good. PHI DELTA KAPPAN, 100(3), 8–13.

Labaree, D. F. (2016). An Affair to Remember: America's Brief Fling with the University as a Public Good. JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION, 50(1), 20–36.

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