Bio for Michael Olneck



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Educational Policy Studies
School of Education
UW - Madison
235 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
MadisonWI  53706

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Professor Michael Olneck

Professor Emeritus of Educational Policy Studies

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department of Educational Policy Studies
208 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
Madison, Wisconsin 53706

Doctoral Degree:

Harvard Graduate School of Education, Ed.D. Education and Social Policy, 1976.

Academic Areas of Interest:

Sociology of education; Public policy and education; Race, ethnicity, and immigration, and education; Multiculturalism in education; Stratification and education.

On-Campus Affiliations:

Institute for Research on Poverty

Honors and Awards:

  • 1977, 1990, 1992, 1995 U.W.-Madison Graduate School Summer Support
  • 1978-1979 U.W.-Madison School of Education Spencer Grant
  • 1984-1985 Spencer Foundation Large Grant, "Ethnicity, Pluralism, and American Education" 
  • 1994 Spencer Foundation Small Grant, "Terms of Inclusion: Possibilities for Pluralism in American Education"

Current and Recent Professional Activities:

  • Department Chair, 2000-2003.
  • Member, AERA-Spencer Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Selection Committee, 1997-2000.
  • Member, Advisory Board, American Journal of Education, 1995-1998.
  • Member, Advisory Board, Sociology of Education, 1995-1998.

Current Research Projects:

In process of completing long-term study on racial, ethnic, and linguistic pluralism in American education, tentatively entitled, "Terms of Inclusion: Cultural Pluralism and American Education." The study analyzes the Americanization movement of the early 20th century, the Intercultural Education movement of the 1930s and 1940s, bilingual education and language policy since the late 1960s, and multicultural education during the period 1970 to the present.

Currently working on a chapter to be entitled "Regulating Language: Ebonics, Bilingual Education, and the Contestation of Linguistic Capital in American Education," which analyzes language and education policies as exemplars of struggles over "recognitional justice" and "cultural capital."

Recent and Representative Publications:

“What Have Immigrants Wanted from American Schools? What Do They Want Now?: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Immigrants, Language, and American Schooling.” American Journal of Education, May, 2009.

“American Public Schooling and European Immigrants in the early Twentieth Century: A Post-Revisionist Synthesis.” Pp. 103-141 in William J. Reese and John L. Rury (editors), Rethinking the History of American Education: Essays on the Post-Revisionist Era and Beyond (Palgrave, 2007).

“National Identity and Assimilation.” Pp. 202-224 in Reed Ueda (editor), A Companion to American Immigration (Blackwell Publishing, 2006).

Economic Consequences of the Academic Achievement Gap for African Americans. Marquette Law Review , Vol. 89 (Fall 2005): 95-104.

"Immigrants and Education in the United States." In J. Banks (editor), Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education, Second edition. (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 2004).

"Re-naming, Re-imagining America: Multicultural Curriculum as Classification Struggle." Pedagogy, Culture, & Society, Vol. 9 (2001): 333-355.

"Can Multicultural Education Change What Counts as Cultural Capital?" American Educational Research Journal , Vol. 37 (Summer, 2000): 317-348.

"Terms of Inclusion: Has Multiculturalism Redefined Equality in American Education?" American Journal of Education , Vol. 101 (May, 1993): 234-260.

"The Recurring Dream: Symbolism and Ideology in Intercultural and Multicultural Education." American Journal of Education, Vol. 98 (February, 1990): 147-174.

"Americanization and the Education of Immigrants, 1900-1925: An Analysis of Symbolic Action," American Journal of Education, Vol. 97 (August, 1989): 398-423.

Courses Taught:

  • EPS 150: Education and Public Policy
  • EPS 200: Race, Ethnicity, and Inequality in American Education
  • EPS 300: School and Society
  • EPS 460: Cultural Pluralism and Educational Policy
  • EPS 500: Social Issues and Education
  • EPS/Sociology 648: Sociology of Education
  • EPS 720: Proseminar in Social Science and Educational Policy
  • EPS/Sociology 908: Seminar in Sociology of Education
  • EPS 920: Seminar in Education and Public Policy
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