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Pope, Denise

Denise Pope
Denise Pope
Academic Title 
Senior Lecturer
Other Titles 

Co-Founder, Challenge Success

Contact Information
(650) 736-1779
CU 322
Program Affiliations 
Research Interests 
Achievement and Motivation
Adolescent Development
Classroom Dynamics
Community Influence on Schooling
Curriculum and Instruction
Grading Policy
Problem-based Learning
Qualitative Research Methods
School Environment
Social and Emotional Development

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 health, engagement with learning, and integrity.

Dr. Pope specializes in curriculum studies, service learning, student engagement, 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, physical, and spiritual well-being. Her book, "Doing School": How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students (Yale University Press, 2001) was awarded Notable Book in Education by the American School Board Journal, 2001. Dr. Pope is a 3 time recipient of the Stanford University 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, 1984

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

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.

School Board Member, Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, Palo Alto CA

Head of School Support and Evaluation Committee, Kehillah Jewish High School, Palo Alto, CA