Keith Barton


Curriculum and Instruction
Academic Programs:
Social Studies Education; Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies
Research Areas:
Social and civic education; history education; human rights education; curriculum history
ED 3234
(812) 856-8058
Curriculum Vitae

About Me

My work focuses on preparing students for democratic civic participation, particularly through history and other content in social education. My research examines students’ understanding of topics such as historical agency, historical significance, national identity, and human rights, and I’ve worked with faculty, teachers, and students in the United States, Northern Ireland, Singapore, New Zealand, Chile, South Sudan, Macedonia, Sweden, and other countries. In addition to research with students, my work includes curriculum theory and practical classroom applications, especially through portraits of exemplary teachers. As a professor at Indiana University, I prepare candidates to teach history and social studies, as well as guiding doctoral students in the areas of curriculum studies, social studies, and history education. I have also served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Ulster (Northern Ireland), Uppsala University (Sweden), Victoria University (New Zealand), and the National Institute of Education (Singapore), as well as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in New Zealand.

I am currently working on a book, together with Dr. Li-Ching Ho of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, that draws upon Eastern and Western philosophy, as well as contemporary theory and research on learning and cognition, to develop curriculum principles for deliberating issues of justice and harmony.

I am also accepting doctoral students in Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies. Students should be interested in conducting research on teaching and learning, either in the United States or internationally, particularly in areas of history, social studies, human rights, civic participation, and related subjects. While pursuing their degree, students will have an opportunity to work with me on studies related to civic activism, deliberation of public issues, and curriculum history. They will also pursue their own independent projects, culminating in an original dissertation. Doctoral students under my supervision are currently working on, or have recently completed, studies that focus on topics such as:

  • Preservice teachers’ conceptions of democracy; their use of children’s literature in elementary social studies; their sense of agency in professional decision-making; and their use of historical controversies in secondary social studies
  • Korean students’ ideas about world history; human rights; immigrants; Islam and Muslims; and victims of sexual slavery during World War II
  • Korean teachers’ attitudes toward assimilation of immigrant students; and their decisions regarding teaching about victims of sexual slavery during World War II
  • U.S. middle school students’ understanding of world history; and students’ perceptions of a simulation of the Underground Railroad
  • Korean American adolescents’ understanding of race and racism
  • Singaporean teachers’ beliefs about the purpose of teaching social studies in vocational track classrooms
  • Changes in the Texas history curriculum in the years surrounding World War I; the development of the state history curriculum in Indiana; Americanization and assimilation at St. Joseph’s Indian Normal School; mid-20th century museum education in Indiana; and early 20th century discussions of race in an Indianapolis high school

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