Faculty News

Madeleine Grumet selected for lifetime achievement award in curriculum studies

Professor Madeleine Grumet has been selected to receive the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from Division B of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). The award, presented annually, recognizes an outstanding scholar who has made a “visible and substantive contribution to the field of curriculum studies.”

 “Receiving this award places [Madeleine Grumet] in the company of the top scholars and leading contributors to curriculum research worldwide,” the announcement letter stated.  

A member of School of Education’s faculty since 1998, Grumet served as dean of the School from 1998-2003, a position she had held previously for a decade at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. She is currently a professor of education and communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Grumet is a major figure in a group of education scholars known as “reconceptualists,” who began and have developed an entire field of scholarship that challenges traditional viewpoints in curricular studies. The reconceptualists advocate understanding on a deep level what the educational experience means and how society influences schools. Grumet began her association with this line of scholarship during her doctoral studies at the University of Rochester and has continued it throughout her career.

She has written two books that are widely used in the field of curriculum studies. Toward a Poor Curriculum (with William Pinar; Kendall Hunt, 1976; second edition, 2006) established the reconceptualist theory. Bitter Milk: Women and Teaching (The University of Massachusetts Press, 1988) established Grumet’s feminist and pedagogical slant on the field, addressing the influence of gender on knowledge and teaching.

“These two texts are classics known by every student of curriculum,” said Lynda Stone, UNC professor of philosophy of education and colleague of Grumet’s. 

Drawing her scholarship from literature and philosophy, Grumet has analyzed trends in curriculum theory and advanced the integration of the arts in the curriculum of the academic disciplines. Her extensive scholarly record includes more than 130 articles, chapters, reviews and presentations offered across the United States and internationally. She has been an invited speaker at more than 30 universities in the United States and abroad.     

In her administrative career, Grumet focused on the promotion of excellent teaching and the development of new programs and curricula to expand and improve opportunities for students and teachers. As dean at the UNC School of Education and at Brooklyn College, she led initiatives to create new opportunities for teachers interested in pursuing advanced study and for non-traditional students seeking licensure. She also led curriculum revision initiatives to strengthen the humanities foundations for pre-service teachers and expanded collaborations with neighboring schools.

Grumet is well known for her commitment to women in academia through her scholarship, her administrative leadership and her own mentoring of many women students. The significance of these contributions has been recognized nationally through two previous awards.

In 2002, the UNC School of Education, under the leadership of Dean Grumet, received the Award for Best Practices in Women’s Leadership Development and Gender Equity from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. The School’s selection reflected its commitment to social justice and the emphasis on equity in its programs, curricula, policy initiatives and research.

In 2008, Grumet received the Willystine Goodsell Award from AERA for her outstanding scholarship, activism and community building on behalf of women, girls and education. Her nominators wrote that she was “the most important feminist intellectual in education” and had “advanced the cause of women and girls immeasurably.”

The Division B Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented at the AERA Annual Meeting in San Diego, April 14, 2009.