Faculty and Staff Directory » Katy Swalwell

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Title: Associate Professor
Department: School of Education

Office: 2642b Lagomarcino 901 Stange Rd., Ames, IA 50011
Phone number: +1 515 294 4511
Email: swalwell@iastate.edu

View resume/vita


Research interests

  • Improving inquiry-based social studies teaching and learning, particularly at the elementary level  
  • Preparing future teachers to engage in justice-oriented social studies instruction and curriculum development 
  • Developing anti-oppressive local history resources for K-12 teachers 
  • Raising the critical consciousness of educators through professional development  
  • Creating collaborative learning spaces that link the university with external communities  
  • Problematizing the education of affluent, white students at "good" schools and supporting teachers' efforts to engage them in social justice education


Howard, A. Swalwell, K., & Adler, K. (2018). Making class: Children’s perceptions of class through illustrations. Teachers College Record, 120(7), 1-44. 

Swalwell, K.& Sinclair, K. (2017). Building a “better” elite: The proliferation and discourses of educational travel programs for elite youth. In H.M. Gunter, D. Hall, & M.W. Apple (Eds.) Corporate elites and the reform of education. Bristol, UK: The Policy Press.

Swalwell, K. & Schweber, S. (2016). Teaching through turmoil: Social studies teachers & local controversial events. Theory and Research in Social Education, 44(3), 283-315. 

Swalwell, K.(2015).Mind the civic empowerment gap: Elite students & critical civic education. Curriculum Inquiry, 45(5), 491-512.

Swalwell, K. (2015). What are they thinking? Investigating student views to build stronger curriculum. Social Education, 79(3), 151-154.

Swalwell, K.,Pellegrino, A., & View, J. L. (2015). Teachers' curricular choices when teaching histories of oppressed people: Capturing the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Journal of Social Studies Research, 39(1), 79-94. 

Gorski, P. &Swalwell, K. (2015). Equity literacy for all. Educational Leadership, 72(6), 34-40.

Swalwell, K. (2014). Model citizen or bad influence? The contested nature of teachers’ public activism. In N. Bascia (Ed.) Teacher Unions in Public Education: Politics, History and the Future (pp.83-100). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Swalwell, K.(2013). Educating activist allies: Social justice pedagogy with the suburban and urban elite. New York: Routledge. 184 pp. 



Amazing Iowahttps://www.amazingiowa.com
Free curriculum and information about a free traveling exhibit connected to the "Amazing Iowa Women" children's book available through RAYGUN. 

Inquiry Iowahttps://inquiryiowa.hs.iastate.edu 
A site dedicated to supporting elementary teachers developing inquiry-based units aligned with the Iowa Core. 

Critical Resources for Elementary Social Studies Teachinghttps://www.facebook.com/groups/CRESST/ 
A Facebook group with 700+ members dedicated to sharing resources for and supporting the teaching of social justice social studies at the elementary level

Elementary Social Studieshttps://elementarysocialstudies.weebly.com 
Hundreds of resources for teaching elementary social studies with dozens of specific resources for Iowa teachers.



Expert guest on Iowa Public Radio’s “Talk of Iowa” (May 24, 2018)

Expert guest on Iowa Public Radio’s “Talk of Iowa” (March 26, 2018) 

Expert guest on Iowa Public Radio’s “Talk of Iowa” (August 24, 2017).

Expert guest on PBS’ NewsHour. 

Expert guest on Iowa Public Radio’s “River to River” (February 13, 2017).


For information about Professor Swalwell, go to https://www.katyswalwell.com