Skip to content Skip to navigation

Faculty members

Denise Pope

Denise Pope
Denise Pope
Academic Title 
Senior Lecturer
Other Titles 

Co-Founder, Challenge Success

Contact Information
(650) 736-1779
Barnum 106
Program Affiliations 

Dr. Pope is co-founder of Challenge Success, a research and intervention project that aims to reduce unhealthy pressure on youth and champions a broader vision of youth success. Challenge Success is an expanded version of the SOS: Stressed-Out Students project that Dr. Pope founded and directed from 2003-2008. She lectures nationally on parenting techniques and pedagogical strategies to increase student well-being, engagement with learning, and integrity.

Dr. Pope specializes in curriculum studies, service learning, student engagement, school reform, and qualitative research methods. She is particularly interested in student voices and the students' perspectives of school. She focuses on academic stress and its consequences for students' mental and physical health, engagement with learning, and integrity. She is the author of  "Doing School": How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students (Yale University Press, 2001), which was awarded Notable Book in Education by the American School Board Journal, 2001. She is co-author of Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids (Wiley, 2015). Dr. Pope is a 3-time recipient of the Stanford University Graduate School of Education Outstanding Teacher and Mentor Award.

These students explain that they are busy at what they call "doing school." They realize that they are caught in a system where achievement depends more on "doing" - going through the correct motions - than on learning and engaging with the curriculum. Instead of thinking deeply about the content of their courses and delving into projects and assignments, the students focus on managing the work load and honing strategies that will help them to achieve high grades.

-from her book: Doing School: How we are creating a generation of stressed out, materialistic, and miseducated students

  • Ph.D., (Curriculum and Teacher Education), Stanford University, 1999
  • Ed.M., (Teaching and Curriculum), Harvard University, 1989
  • A.B., (English), Stanford University, 1988

Since 1999

Senior Lecturer, Stanford University School of Education (2009- )

Lecturer, Stanford University School of Education (1999 - 2008)

High School English Teacher

Lecturer, English Dept, Santa Clara University

University Supervisor, Education Dept., Santa Clara University

Director, Castilleja School Summer Day Camp

Research and Evaluation Coordinator, Service Learning 2000

  • Ed 208B Curriculum Construction
  • Ed 200B Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods
  • Ed 327 The Conduct of Qualitative Inquiry


Pope, D., Brown, M., & Miles, S. (2015). Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Wiley.

Pope, D. (2001). Doing School: How we are creating a generation of stressed out, materialistic, and miseducated students. New Haven: Yale.


Phillippo, K., Conner, J., Davidson, S., & Pope, D. (in press). A Systematic Review of Student Self-Report
Instruments That Assess Student-Teacher Relationships. Teachers College Record.

Conner, J., & Pope, D. (2014). Student Engagement in High-Performing Schools: Relationships to Mental
and Physical Health. In D. Shernoff & J Bempechat (Eds.). Engaging Youth in Schools, National Society
for the Study of Education Yearbook
, 113 (1).

Conner, J., Pope, D., & Miles, S. (2014). How Many Teachers Does it Take to Support a Student?
Examining the Relationship between Teacher Support and Adverse Health Outcomes in High Performing,
Pressure-Cooker High Schools, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 98 (1), pp. 22-42.

Galloway, M., Conner, J., & Pope, D. (2013). Non-academic Effects of Homework in Privileged, High-performing
High Schools, The Journal of Experimental Education, 81(4), pp. 490-510.

Conner J., & Pope, D. (April 2013), Why Full Engagement Matters, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, pp.1-39.

Pope, D. (2010). Beyond 'Doing School': From 'Stressed-Out' to 'Engaged in Learning, Education Canada, 50(1), 4-8.

Conner, J., Pope, D., & Galloway, M. (2009), Success with Less Stress, Educational Leadership, 67(4), 54-47.

Pope, D. (2007). Peshkin’s Problematics: Teaching the nature of interpretation in qualitative research, Qualitative Research Journal 6(2), 173-182.

Galloway, M., & Pope, D. (2007). Hazardous Homework? The Relationship between homework, goal orientation, and well-being in adolescents, Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice (20)4, 25-31.

Galloway, M., Pope, D., & Osberg, J. (2007). Stressed-out students – SOS: Youth perspectives on changing school climates. In D. Thiessen & A. Cook-Sather (Eds.). International handbook of student experience of elementary and secondary school. (pp. 611-634). Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Osberg, J., Pope, D., & Galloway, M. (2006). Students matter in school reform: Leaving fingerprints and becoming leaders, International Journal of Leadership in Education, 9(4), 329-343.

Pope, D., & Simon, R. (2005). Help for Stressed-Out Students, Educational Leadership, 62(7).

Pope, D. (2005). Teaching Qualitative Inquiry: How Elliot Eisner Makes Sense. In B. Urmacher & J. Matthews (Eds.). Intricate Palette (pp. 153-161). New Jersey: Pearson.

Verducci, S., & Pope, D. (2001). Rationales for Integrating Service-Learning in Teacher Education. In J. Anderson, K. Swick, & J. Yff (Eds.), Service-learning in teacher education: Enhancing the growth of new teachers, their students, and communities (pp.2-18). Washington D.C.: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Pope, D., Batenburg, M., Intrator, S., Verducci, S., & Hill, D. (1998). Struggling to learn better II: Portraits of two middle school service learning programs. Palo Alto: Service Learning 2000 Center.

Trustee, Castilleja School, Palo Alto, CA

Steering Committee Member, Stanford University Mental Health and Well-being Task Force

Back to the Top