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Curriculum, Teaching  & Learning
Arlo Kempf
Assistant Professor


Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Research Overview

Arlo's research interests include anti-racism and anticolonialism in K-12 and teacher education; (critical) whiteness and White supremacy in education; teachers' work and professional lives in critical perspective; and critical perspectives on neoliberalism 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 teaches in the areas of race and equity in education. Current courses taught include:

CTL5053: Architectures of, Race, Whiteness, and Settlerhood in Education. Curriculum & Pedagogy Program, Department of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning.

CTL1011: Anti-Oppression Education in School Settings. Curriculum & Pedagogy Program, Department of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning.

CTL7009: Anti-Discriminatory Education. Master of Teaching Program, Department of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning.

Past courses include:

-CTL7015: From Student to Professional, Master of Teaching Program, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, OISE/UT.
-CTL7006: Reflective Teaching and Research, Master of Teaching Program, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, OISE/UT.
-EDU3508: School and Society. Initial Teacher Education Program, OISE/UT.
-EDU320H: Inclusive Education, Concurrent Teacher Education Program OISE/UT.
-EDU5501: Anti-Racist Education Studies, Initial Teacher Education Program, OISE/UT.
-EDU470: Social Foundations of Teaching and Schooling. Concurrent Teacher Education Program, OISE/UT.
-SES2942: Education and Work, Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education OISE/UT.
-SES1900: Introduction to Sociology and Education. Graduate Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education OISE/UT.

-SY102: Methods of Social Inquiry. Department of Sociology, Wilfrid Laurier University.
-SY416: Equity in Education. Department of Sociology, Wilfrid Laurier University.

Representative Publications


(2022). Troubling Reconciliation in Education Critical Perspectives. Co-edited with Sandra Styres, University of Toronto (University of Alberta Press).

(2022). “Primary and Secondary Education: Afrocentric Schooling. (Co-authored with George Dei). In Robert Tierney, Fazal Rizvi, Kadriye Ercikan and Graham Smith (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Education, 4th edition, Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishing.

(2022). The Master of Teaching Program at the University of Toronto: A commitment to data-driven progressive improvement. In J. Kitchen & D. Petrarca (Eds.). (Co-authored with Jim Hewitt, Kathy Broad, Anne Marie Chudleigh, Mary Reid, Angela Vemic) Initial teacher education in Ontario: The four-semester teacher education programs after five years (pp. xxx-xxx). Ottawa, ON: Canadian Association for Teacher Education.

(2020). “Of Word, World, and Being (Online): A Brief Response to Paulo Freire’s “’The importance of the Act of Reading.’” In S.R. Steinberg & B. Down Eds., The SAGE handbook of critical pedagogies. New York: Sage.

(2020). “African-Centred Teaching and Learning in Western Classrooms.” (Co-authored with George Dei) In, Jamaine Abidogun & Toyin Falola (Eds.) Palgrave Handbook of African Education and Indigenous Knowledge, (pp. 685-708). New York: Palgrave.

(2020). Speaking back to the institution: Teacher education programs as sites of possibility. (Co-authored with Fiona Purton and Sandra Styres) In, Decolonizing the Academy, S. Cote-Meek and T. Moeke-Pickering (Eds.). Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.

(2020). If we are going to talk about implicit race bias, we need to talk about structural racism: moving beyond passivity and ubiquity in teaching and learning about race. Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education, Spring, 115-133.

(2019) Contemporary Whiteness Interrupted. In: Trifonas P. (eds) Handbook of Theory and Research in Cultural Studies and Education. Springer International Handbooks of Education. Springer, Cham.

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

Previous Books

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)

Anti-Colonialism and Education: The Politics of Resistance. Co-Edited with George Dei. Rotterdam: Sense. (2006)

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 Funded Projects (Principal Investigator)

Understanding the Schooling Experiences of Ontario Youth With Precarious Immigration Status (Co-Investigator: Sarah Pole, Justice for Child & Youth). This collaboration aims to deepen current scholarly and community understandings of the ways in which immigration status precarity affects the schooling and educational experiences and aspirations of youth in the Greater Toronto Area.
(Funded by a SSHRC Partnership Engagement Grant, $24,977.)

Teacher Perspectives on Classroom Conditions, Racial Equity, and Student Pathways. This study seeks to investigate teacher understandings of race, connection and classroom conditions (understood here to include class composition, delivery mode, and class size) in Toronto secondary school contexts (funded $18,787, by
the Connaught Fund's New Researcher Award).

Mitigating Race Bias in Teacher Professional Practices, a qualitative study with alternative secondary school teachers in Toronto. Undertaken with Co-Investigator Professor Nina Bascia (funded by the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council, Insight Development Grant, $48,366).

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

Unfunded Project

Assets Based Community Development (ABCD): Urban Schooling Action Research Collaboration in Scarborough, Ontario. Masters of Teacher Students from OISE/UT have, yearly, 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 findings have been presented by OISE and TDSB researchers at academic conferences in the US and Canada.

Honours and Awards

Arlo is the winner of OISE's Excellence in Educational Leadership Award (2021), and OISE's Excellence in Teacher Education Award (2015).

Professional Activities

Arlo is Book Series Editor (with Nina Bascia, OISE/UT; Denisha Jones, Sarah Lawrence College; and Rhiannon Maton, SUNY Cortland) of the Routledge Book Series: Teachers' Work and Teaching in Critical Perspective. He is also Faculty Editor of Curriculum Inquiry.

He regularly reviews for a variety of journals and conferences, and is heavily involved in antiracism program activities in the Master of Teaching Program.