Joe L. Kincheloe

Joe L. Kincheloe

Infobox Scientist

image_width = 150px
name = Dr. Joe L. Kincheloe
birth_place = Kingsport, Tennessee
nationality = American
field = Education, Critical Pedagogy, Educational Research, Urban Education, Cognition, Curriculum, and Cultural Studies
work_institution = McGill University, City University of New York, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Brooklyn College, Pennsylvania State University, Florida International University, Clemson University, Louisiana State University, Shreveport, Sinte Gleska College
alma_mater = University of Tennessee
influences = Paulo Freire, Walter Benjamin, Michel Foucault, John Dewey, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Sandra Harding

known_for = Theory of Critical Post-Formal Educational Psychology"The PostFormal Reader", Joe L. Kinchleoe, Shirley R. Steinberg, and Patricia H. Hinchey - New York: RoutledgeFalmer, 1999.] and Theory of Critical Multiculturalism "Multi/Intercultural Conversations", Shirley R. Steinberg - New York: Peter Lang, 2001.]

Joe Lyons Kincheloe, born December 14, 1950 in Kingsport, Tennessee, is a professor and Canada Research Chair at the Faculty of Education, McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He has written more than 45 books, numerous book-chapters, and hundreds of journal articles on issues including but not limited to critical pedagogy, educational research, urban studies, cognition, curriculum, and cultural studies. Born in Kingsport, Tennessee in 1950, Kincheloe received three graduate degrees from The University of Tennessee. His first academic position was on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation as the department chair of education at Sinte Gleska College (1980-1982). He was tenured at LSU-Shreveport (1982-1989), Clemson University (1989-1992), Florida International University (1992-1994), The Pennsylvania State University (1994-1998), and was the Belle Zeller Chair of Public Policy and Administration from 1998-2000 at Brooklyn College. Kincheloe co-authored the Urban Education Ph.D. program at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York, and served as Deputy Executive Program Officer there from 2000-2005. He moved to McGill University in January 2006, and received a Canada Research Chair in October 2006. The father of four children, he has worked for the past 19 years closely with his partner, Shirley R. Steinberg.See]

Major Influences

His work draws from a number of theoretical traditions, and his analyses focus on the social, cultural, political, economic, and cognitive dynamics that contextualize teaching and learning. Dr. Kincheloe's research provides for a compelling understanding of the forces shaping contemporary education. Understanding these dynamics, educators are better equipped to formulate policies and develop actions that rigorously cultivate the intellect while operating in a more socially just and inclusive manner. A passionate public speaker, Kincheloe lays out these positions in a unique oratorical style that has been described as part Southern evangelist, part philosophy professor, and part rock music critic. He and Steinberg speak about critical pedagogy and cultural/media politics in North America, South America, Australia, Europe, and Asia.

The Paulo and Nita Freire International Project for Critical Pedagogy

Professor Kincheloe has founded the 'Paulo and Nita Freire International Project for Critical Pedagogy' at the Faculty of Education, McGill University. Under Kincheloe's leadership the Freire Project is creating a global community of researchers and cultural workers in critical pedagogy ( Kincheloe is considered one of the leading scholars in critical pedagogy, critical constructivism, the research bricolage, critical multicultural education, and contemporary curriculum discourses. He is the architect of a critical cognitive theory, having developed the notion of a critical postformal educational psychology. Postformalism focuses on exposing the unexamined power relations that shape cognitive theory and educational psychology in a larger liberatory effort to develop a psychology of possibility. Such a critical psychology focuses on typically underestimated human cognitive capacities, the socio-cultural construction of mind, collective intelligence, and the unexplored dimensions of human cognition. Postformalism posits that mainstream psychology has historically dismissed the cognitive abilities of those who fall outside of whiteness, the middle and upper socio-economic classes, dominant colonizing cultures, and patriarchy. In this context critical postformalism becomes a socially transformative psychology.


Central to Kincheloe's work in all of these areas is the construction of a rigorous form of multidimensional scholarship that draws upon critical theory, critical pedagogy, feminist theory, complexity theory, indigenous knowledges, post/anti-colonialism, and other global discourses to help end dominant power-constructed human suffering. In his work over the last few years Kincheloe has focused much attention on the politics of knowledge and epistemology and the diverse ways they operate to shape human consciousness and socio-political and educational activities. He is dedicated to creating a critical pedagogy that helps individuals reshape their lives, become better scholars and social activists, realize their cognitive potential, re-create democratic spaces in a electronically mediated global world, and build and become members of communities of solidarity that work to create better modes of education and a more peaceful, equitable, and ecologically sustainable world.

As educational scholar, Rucheeta Kulkarni (2008) writes: "With an authorial voice that blends conversational simplicity with visionary philosophy, Joe Kincheloe [outlines] the deepening crises of this nation’s actions at home and abroad—including preemptive wars against imagined enemies, scripted curricula for deprofessionalized teachers, privatization of public schools, and corporate ownership of the news media—he tells the reader not to despair but to hope...For any reader who aspires to do meaningful and transformative knowledge work, it is hard to refuse Kincheloe’s invitation into the ideas of critical pedagogy."

See Raymond Horn (1999) for a comprehensive overview of Kincheloe's scholarship in the 1980s and 1990s.

For those who follow Kincheloe's work, he is viewed not simply as a key public intellectual of our era but a mentor and role model for young scholars. He and Shirley R. Steinberg are widely appreciated for the help they have extended to students as well as aspiring critical academics and social activists in their efforts to negotiate a place in the academy and the socio-political landscape. Together Kincheloe and Steinberg have helped scholars/activists from around the world develop and publish over 500 books. In this spirit Kincheloe offers a compelling vision of reconceptualized academic institutions grounded on both a hard nosed understanding of power and scholarship and a commitment to new conceptions of social justice and pedagogy. In recent years Kincheloe has come to be known internationally as the conscience of critical pedagogy.


Kincheloe's work is criticized for its use of a variety of methods and theories that serve to make issues more complicated than necessary. His work on the failures of positivism and mainstream Western research methods have been characterized by conservatives as an attack on viable modes of inquiry and accepted forms of reason. Some reviewers have labeled his multiperspectival bricolage as a form of anti-rationality. For example, educational researcher, Peter Smagorinky (2007) argues in a review of Kincheloe's and Kenneth Tobin's Doing "Educational Research: A Handbook that Kincheloe" uses positivism as a inappropriate bogeyman in a misguided effort to resurrect this long-discredited way of knowing to justify radical perspectives on knowledge production. In Smagorinky's opinion Kincheloe's work is misleading and dangerous for those legitimate scholars who would seek to engage in scholarship that produces assured answers to specific questions. Detractors also critique Kincheloe's frequent attacks on U.S. educational, social, and foreign policy. Such attacks, it is maintained, are often unfair and reflect a one-dimensional biased point of view. His analysis of whiteness and white racism have often drawn fire from more moderate analysts.


Appelbaum, B. (1999). Review of Joe Kincheloe, Shirley Steinberg, Nelson Rodriguez, and Ronald Chennault’s White Reign: Deploying Whiteness in America. Educational Review: A Journal of Book Reviews.

Aumeerally, N. (2006). Review of Joe L. Kincheloe and Shirley R. Steinberg's The Miseducation of the West: How Schools and the Media Distort Our Understanding of the Islamic World. Comparative Education Review, 50, 3.

Bigger, S. (1998). Review of Joe L. Kincheloe and Shirley R. Steinberg's Changing Multiculturalism. Westminster Studies in Education.

Blake, J. (2008). Review of Joe L. Kincheloe’s Critical Constructivism. Educational Review: A Journal of Book Reviews.

Blake, N. (2004). Review of Joe L. Kincheloe and Shirley R. Steinberg's Students as Researchers: Creating Classrooms that Matter. Teaching Theology & Religion, 4, 1, 55-62.

Broadfoot, P. (1998). Review of Joe L. Kincheloe, Shirley R. Steinberg, and Aaron D. Gresson III's Measured Lies: The Bell Curve ExaminedComparative Education Review, 42, 3, 372-374

Horn, R. (1999). "Joe L. Kincheloe: Teacher as Researcher." "Educational Researcher", 28, 4.

King, D. (2006). A Cultural Studies Approach to Teaching the Sociology of Childhood. Sociation Today. 4, 1.

Knobel, M. (2004). Review of Shirley Steinberg and Joe Kincheloe's 19 Urban Questions: Teaching in the City. Educational Review: A Journal of Book Reviews.

Kulkarni, R. (2008). Review of Joe L. Kincheloe's Critical Pedagogy. 2nd edition. Educational Review: A Journal of Book Reviews.

Leech, N. (2007). Research and the "Inner Circle": The Need to Set Aside Counterproductive Language. Educational Researcher, 36, 4, 199-203.

Lincoln, Y. (2001). An Emerging New Bricoleur: Promises and Possibilities (A Reaction to Joe Kincheloe’s “Describing the Bricoleur”). Qualitative Inquiry, 7, 6, 693-705.

Lugg, C. & Dentith, A. (1996). Workin’ for a Livin’. An Essay Review of Joe Kincheloe's Toil and Trouble: Good Work, Smart Workers, and the Integration of Academic and Vocational Education. Educational Researcher, 25, 1, 39-42.

Nayar, P. (2006). Review of Joe L. Kincheloe's Sign of the Burger: McDonalds and the Culture of Power. Anthropology of Work Review. 27, 2.

Nesbit, T. (2000). Review of Joe L. Kincheloe's How Do We Tell the Workers? The Socioeconomic Foundations of Work and Vocational Education. Labor Studies Journal, 25, 125-26.

Oakes, E. (2006). Review of Shirley R. Steinberg & Joe L. Kincheloe's Kinderculture: The Corporate Construction of Childhood. 2nd Edition.College Literature, 33, 3, 212-216.

Pigza, J. (2005). Review of Joe L. Kincheloe’s Critical Pedagogy. Educational Review: A Journal of Book Reviews.

Rumbo, J. (2004). Examining Relationships between Consumption, Nature, and Culture. Review of Joe Kincheloe's The Sign of the Burger: McDonald’s and the Culture of Power. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 33, 2, 218-230.

Sew, J.W. (2006) Review of Joe L. Kincheloe's Multiple Intelligences Reconsidered.Discourse in Society, 17, 4, 554-557

Smagorinky, P. (2007). A Thick Description of Thick Description. Educational Researcher, 36, 4, 199-203.

Urban, W. (1992). Rejoinder to Joe Kincheloe. Curriculum Inquiry, 22, 4, 447-448.

Recent Bibliography


"'Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction" (2008). Amsterdam: Springer Publishers.

"Critical Constructivism" (2005). New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

"Critical Pedagogy". (2004). New York: Peter Lang Publishing. (2nd edition, 2008).

"The Sign of the Burger: McDonald’s and the Culture of Power". (2002). Philadelphia, PA. Temple University Press. (Korean Edition, 2004).

"Teachers as Researchers: Qualitative Paths to Empowerment, 2nd Edition". (2002). New York: RoutledgeFalmer.

"Getting Beyond the Facts: Teaching Social Studies/Social Sciences in the Twenty-First Century". (2001). New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

"Hacia una Revision Critica del Pensamiento Docente". (2001). Barcelona: Ocaedro.

"How Do We Tell the Workers? The Socio-Economic Foundations of Work and Vocational Education". (1999). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.


"Reading, Writing, and Thinking: The Postformal Basics". (2006). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. (with P.L. Thomas).

"Rigour and Complexity in Educational Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage". (2004). London: Open University Press. (with Kathleen Berry) (Portuguese Edition, 2005)

"Art, Culture, & Education: Artful Teaching in a Fractured Landscape". (2003). New York:Peter Lang Publishing. (with Karel Rose)

"Contextualizing Teaching: Introduction to the Foundations of Education". (2000). New York: Allan & Bacon. Longman. (with Shirley Steinberg and Patrick Slattery)

"The Stigma of Genius: Einstein, Consciousness and Education". (1999). New York: Peter Lang Publishing. (with Deborah Tippins and Shirley Steinberg)

"Changing Multiculturalism: New Times, New Curriculum". (1997). London: Open University Press. (with Shirley Steinberg)


"Classroom Teaching: An Introduction". (2005). New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

"Multiple Intelligences Reconsidered". (2004). New York: Peter Lang Publishing. (Chinese Edition 2005).


"Cutting Class: Socio-economic Class and Education". (2007). Boulder, Colorado: Rowman and Littlefield. (with Shirley Steinberg)

"Critical Pedagogy: Where Are We Now?" (2007). New York: Peter Lang Publishing. (with Peter McLaren)

"Doing Educational Research". (2006). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. (with Kenneth Tobin)

"Teaching City Kids: Understanding Them and Appreciating Them". (2006). New York: Peter Lang Publishing. (with Kecia Hayes)

"Urban Education: An Encyclopedia". (2006). 2 vols. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. (with Philip Anderson, Kecia Hayes and Karel Rose). Rights bought by Rowman and Littlefield for 2nd edition: (2007) "Urban Education: A Comprehensive Guide for Educators, Parents, and Teachers". Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

"Educational Psychology: An Encyclopedia". (2006). 4 vols. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. (with Raymond Horn).

"Metropedagogy: Power, Justice and the Urban Classroom". (2006). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

"What You Don’t Know about Schools". (2006). New York: Palgrave Press. (with Shirley Steinberg)"The Miseducation of the West: How the Schools and Media Distort Our Understanding of Islam". (2004). Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Press. (Arabic Edition, 2005) (with Shirley Steinberg).


ee also

* Adult education
* Adult literacy
* Conscientization
* Critical consciousness
* Critical psychology
* Critical thinking
* Cultural Studies
* Curriculum and instruction
* Curriculum studies
* Ecopedagogy
* Education policy
* Education theory
* Education studies
* Educational psychology
* Educational philosophy
* Educational research
* Inclusive classroom
* Multicultural Education
* Popular education
* Praxis
* Praxis intervention
* Queer Pedagogy
* Second Coming
* Social criticism
* Student voice
* Teaching for social justice
* War on Terrorism
* Women's Rights

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