Mark Nagasawa

Director, Straus Center for Young Children & Families

Mark’s scholarship is guided by the anthropology of education’s broad questions about the intergenerational transmission of—and conflict over—culture and the role schooling plays in social continuity and change. More specifically this scholarship lies at the nexus of curriculum and policy studies, investigating how people in bureaucracies, preschool through higher education schools, and in community settings make meaning of and negotiate globally-circulating education reform agendas, particularly efforts to incorporate “high quality” early care and education into kindergarten through twelfth grade education systems using “professional development” and evaluation as policy levers. The central assumptions of this work are 1) that policy-making and enactment are cultural practices of power and 2) understanding the cultural logics that shape policy practice is a component of framing justice-centered educational and social policy reforms.

This work is informed by professional experiences as an early childhood educator, social worker, and policy analyst, which were in turn shaped by his upbringing as the grandchild of voluntary immigrants and the child of first-generation college graduates. While his family’s history is an example of how education can transform lives, his work is driven by the empirical reality that, for far too many, schooling does not result in similar positive transformations.

Recent Publications

Nagasawa, M.K., Peters, L., Bloch, M.N., & Swadener, B.B. (Eds.). (2023). Transforming early years policy in the US: A call to action. Teachers College Press. 

Gupta, S.S., & Nagasawa, M. (2023). WeDesign: Conceptualizing a process that invites young children to codesign inclusive learning spaces. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 

Nagasawa, M.K., Faragó, F., & Peters, L. (Eds.). (2022). Special Issue: A scholarship of generosity. International Critical Childhood Policy Studies Journal, 9(1).  

Nagasawa, M.K. (2022, August). The listening to teachers study: Technical report. Bank Street College of Education.  

Nagasawa, M.K. (2022, June). Who’s there for the directors? Bank Street College of Education.

Nagasawa, M.K. (2022, March). Forgotten frontline workers: One year later. Bank Street College of Education.  

Nagasawa, M.K. (2021, November). Nadie nos han preguntado (Nobody asked us). Bank Street College of Education.  

Nagasawa, M., & Tarrant, K. (2020, October 24). Forgotten frontline workers: A snapshot COVID-19 and family child care in New York. Bank Street College of Education.

Nagasawa, M., & Tarrant, K. (2020, July 18). Who will care for the early care and education workforce? COVID-19 and the need to support early childhood educators’ emotional well-being. The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, City University of New York (CUNY).

Tarrant, K., & Nagasawa, M. (2020, July 7). New York early care and education survey: Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on New York’s early childhood system. The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, CUNY.  

Nagasawa, M., & Swadener, B.B. (2020). Power to the profession? Reading and repoliticizing early childhood workforce development in the United States. In M. Vandenbroeck (Ed.), Revisiting Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed: Issues and Challenges in Early Childhood Education. Routledge.

View Mark’s CV (pdf)

PhD Arizona State University