Dr. Nicholas Paley

Professor Emeritus, Educational Foundations


Nicholas Paley’s doctoral scholarship was grounded in the Frankfurt School of theoretical criticism. This background influenced his early research and his first book, Finding Art’s Place: Experiments in Contemporary Education and Culture (Routledge, 1995), a series of case studies of minority urban youth struggling with the realities of educational and cultural production in school and non-school spaces. By the late-1990s, he broadened his research methodologies to include applied modes of feminist, critical, and post-colonial theory, which influenced his next three books: Daredevil Research: Re-creating Analytic Practice (Peter Lang, 1997); Questions of You and the Struggle of Collaborative Life (Peter Lang, 2000); and Global Perspectives on Education and the Arts (Film Arts-Sha, Tokyo, 2001) which analyzed systems of representation and research collaboration in the social sciences. His most recent research continued to explore systems of research representation, using approaches that combined critical theoretical, aesthetic, and materialist methodologies in the analysis of educational power. His articles appeared in numerous journals such as The International Journal of Leadership in Education, The Journal of Aesthetic Education, English Education, Teacher Education Quarterly, The Journal of Curriculum Theory, and The International Journal of Education and the Arts. His most recent work included Curriculum and Its Unconscious (Volumes 1 & 2), The Temptation to Teach (Release 1.0 & 2.0), and Fantastic Academic Architecture. Professor Paley came to the George Washington University in 1988 after teaching at Smith College. At GW, he co-coordinated the redesign of the teacher education program and directed the Elementary Education program (1988-1993); he served as University Professor in the Honors Program (1994-2005) and as professor of educational foundations and curriculum theory (1988-2016). He was a Visiting Scholar at Brown University at the Pembroke Center for Research on Women and Teaching (2000-2001).


Paley, N. (2014). Curriculum and Its Unconscious. (Volumes 1 & 2). Wells College Book Arts Center (in conjunction with Wells College Press. Aurora New York.

Paley, N. (2013).The Temptation to Teach (Release 1.0). Wells College Book Arts Center (in conjunction with Wells College Press. Aurora, New York.

Paley, N. (2013). Can Architects Help Transform Public Education? What the Sarasota, Florida School Building Program (1955-1960) Teaches Us. Journal of Learning Through the Arts: University of California e-Scholarship Press. Berkeley: California.

Paley, N., Joppy, D.,, Leggett, S., Martinez, L. (2012). Blackboard Lessons: System, State, Market Economy. Teachers Free Press (digital pagination).

Paley, N. (2012). Encore Une Histoire d’Harlin Quist: The Print-To-Pixel Remix of Number 24. The New Journal of Children’s Literature.

Paley, N. (2012). Wii and the Formation of My Avatar Identity. Journal of Visual Literacy.

Paley, N. (2009). Developing Personal Literacies: Writing Through Reading. English Education, Vol. 41, No.2.