Alexander Cuenca

Associate Professor

Accreditation; Curriculum and Instruction
Academic Programs:
Secondary Education; Social Studies Education; Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies
Research Areas:
Teacher education, social studies education
ED 1040
(812) 856-8357
Curriculum Vitae

About Me

"There is a great discovery, education is politics! When a teacher discovers that he or she is a politician too, the teacher has to ask, what kind of politics am I doing in the classroom? That is, in favor of whom am I being a teacher? The teacher works in favor of something and against something. Because of that, he or she will have another great question, how to be consistent in my teaching practice with my political choice?"
–Paulo Freire, A Pedagogy for Liberation, 1987

My work focuses on preparing social studies teachers to cultivate the civic capacities of youth and adolescents. My research examines several dimensions that influence the preparation of social studies teachers such as learning to teach for social justice, teacher learning during field experiences, the implications of teacher education policy, and the pedagogy of teacher education. I have served as Chair of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies, Chair of the Task Force that developed the NCSS National Standards for the Preparation of Social Studies Teachers, been a member of the Association of Teacher Educators Field Experiences Standards Task Force, and was appointed by the Missouri Commissioner of Higher Education to serve on Missouri Advisory Board for Educator Preparation. Prior to working in higher education, I was a social studies teacher and director of bands at Mater Academy Charter Middle/High School in Miami, Florida.

Currently, I am working with the National Council for the Social Studies and teachers, scholars, and administrators across the United States to develop teaching and learning principles for inquiry in social studies classrooms.

I am accepting doctoral students in Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies. Students should be interested in conducting research on teaching, teacher preparation, or social studies education. While pursuing their degree, doctoral students will have an opportunity to work with me on studies related to teacher education pedagogy, teacher learning, and the uses of inquiry in social studies classroom.

Selected Publications:

  • Crowe, A. & Cuenca, A. (Eds.) (2015). Rethinking social studies teacher education for twenty-first century citizenship. London, England: Springer
  • Cuenca, A. (2017). Preparing teachers for a new generation of social studies learners: Introducing the National Standards for the Preparation of Social Studies Teachers. Social Education, 81(6), 370-375.
  • Dinkelman, T. & Cuenca, A. (2017). Qualitative research in social studies education. In M. Manfra & C. Bolick (Eds.) Handbook of social studies education research.
  • Arend L. & Cuenca, A. (2016) Interrogating democracy: Lessons from Ferguson, Missouri. In C. Wright-Maley & T. Davis (Eds.) Teaching for democracy in an age of economic disparity. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Cuenca, A. (2014). Answering Ferguson: A perspective from St. Louis ( Social Education, web feature.

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