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Curriculum, Teaching  & Learning
Arlo Kempf
Assistant Professor
Program Coordinator, Master of Teaching in Elementary and Secondary Education


Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Research Overview

Arlo's research interests include teachers' work and professional lives, anti-racism in education, white identity politics in education, critical perspectives on educational standardization and neoliberalism in comparative perspective, and anti-colonialism in education.

Academic History

Arlo Kempf holds a PhD from OISE/UT (2011), and was a Banting Post Doctoral Fellow in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Teaching Overview

Arlo's teaching currently focuses on equity education and research methods in education. He has taught at the graduate and undergraduate levels at OISE/UT; the Department of Sociology (University of Toronto); University of California, Los Angeles; and Wilfrid Laurier University. Before teaching at the university level, Arlo was a high school teacher for seven years in Toronto.

Representative Publications


Click here to view Arlo's recent Ted Ed Talk, Should we get rid of Standardized Testing?

His books include:

Troubling Trickster and the Politics of Decolonizing Reconciliation in Education. Co-Edited with Sandra Styres. University of Alberta Press, (forthcoming)

The Pedagogy of Standardized Testing: The Radical Impacts of Educational Standardization in the US and Canada, New York: Palgrave. (2016)

New Perspectives on African-Education in Canada. Co-authored with George Sefa Dei. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press. (2013)

The Politics of Cultural Knowledge. Co-edited with Njoki Wane and Marlon Simmons. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. (2011)

Breaching the Colonial Contract: Anti-Colonialism in the US and Canada. New York: Springer. (2009)

Arlo's work has been published in multiple journals including: Teachers College Record, Race and Ethnicity in Education, Critical Education,  International Education, Directions, Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies, Journal of Workplace Learning , and the National Evaluation Gazette.

Arlo has also contributed chapters to multiple edited collections, encyclopedia, and handbooks.

Additionally, Arlo has been interviewed and referenced in popular publications including the Atlantic, The Walrus, El Pais, The Toronto Star, Education Today, The Globe and Mail, as well as on Canadian radio and television.

Research Grants and Contracts

Current Projects (Funded)

Arlo is currently the Principal Investigator for a project titled Mitigating Race Bias in Teacher Professional Practices, a study with alternative secondary school teachers in Toronto (funded by the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council, Insight Development Grant, $48,366).

Arlo is currently Principal Investigator of the OISE Survey of Educational Issues, the longest-running public opinion survey on education carried out in Canada. The survey, which draws on funding from UofT, The Ministry of Education and private sources, has been conducted regularly since 1978, providing snapshots of public opinion at particular moments in time. Funded ($70,626 in 2015 and $45,000 in 2017) by the Ontario Ministry of Education.

Current Projects (Unfunded)
Currently Principal Investigator of the Assets Based Community Development (ABCD): Urban Schooling Action Research Collaboration in Scarborough. For the past four years, Masters of Teacher Students from OISE/UT have partnered with sixth grade students at Samuel Hearne Middle School to map the social, cultural and institutional assets in the Samuel Hearne Community. The annual project unfolds in two parts: the first led by OISE Masters students and the second led by Samuel Hearne grade six students. Results are presented annually, at our research celebration held at the University of Toronto, and finding have been presented by OISE and TDSB researchers at academic conferences in the US and Canada.

Co-P.I. (with Professor Nina Bascia, University of Toronto), conducting a small qualitative study of locally developed curriculum and assessment practices at nine alternative secondary schools in Toronto. Through interviews with teachers (n=45) and focus groups with students in each school, the study seeks to better understand the role of teacher curriculum and assessment generation in promoting and supporting student success.

Previous Project (Funded)

Banting Post Doctoral Fellowship awarded April 2011. Project title: Pedagogy, Race, and Racelessness: A Comparative Analysis of Colorblindness in Teacher Praxis in the US and Canada. Award amount: $140,000 (2011-2013)