Charles Dorn

Professor of Education, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Associate Affirmative Action Officer

Professor Dorn's research into the history of education investigates the civic functions adopted by and ascribed to centers of early childhood education, public elementary and secondary schools, and colleges and universities in the United States.


  • Ph.D. , University of California, Berkeley School of Education; Berkeley, CA, 2003
  • M.A. , Stanford University School of Education; Stanford, CA, 1994
  • B.A. , The George Washington University Major: American Studies; Washington, DC, 1990



American Education, Democracy, and the Second World War. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007"American Education, Democracy, and the Second World War."  New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

“‘It Was a Sort of Soft War That One Waged’: Teacher Education at the University of Cape Town, 1976-
1994.” Southern African Review of Education, 19, no. 2 (2013), 48-71. 

Dorn, Charles and Kristen Ghodsee.  “The Cold War Politicization of Literacy: Communism, UNESCO and the World Bank.”  Diplomatic History, 36, no. 2 (2012), 373-398.

Dorn, Charles and Doris Santoro.  “Political Goals and Social Ideals: Dewey, Democracy, and the Emergence of the Turkish Republic.” Education and Culture, 27, no. 2 (2011), 3-27.

“From ‘Liberal Professions’ to ‘Lucrative Professions’: Bowdoin College, Stanford University, and the Civic Functions of Higher Education.”  Teachers College Record, 113, no. 7 (2011), 1566-1596.

Dorn, Charles and Connie Chiang.  “National Unity & National Discord: The Western Homefront during World War II.”  Journal of the West, 49, no. 3 (2011), 41-60.

“‘War Conditions Made It Impossible…’: Historical Statistics and Women’s Higher Education Enrollments, 1940-1952.”  Studies in the Humanities, 36, no. 2 (2009), 108-115.

“‘A Woman’s World’: The University of California, Berkeley, During the Second World War.”  History of Education Quarterly, 48, no. 4 (2008), 534-564.

“‘Treason in the Textbooks’:  Reinterpreting the Harold Rugg Textbook Controversy in the Context of Schooling During World War II.”  Paedagogica Historica, 44, no. 4 (2008): 457-479.
“‘The World’s Schoolmaster’: Educational Reconstruction, Grayson Kefauver, and the Founding of UNESCO, 1942-1946.” History of Education, 35, no. 3 (2006): 297-320.

“‘I Had All Kinds of Kids in My Classes, and It Was Fine’: Public Schooling in Richmond, California, During World War II.”  History of Education Quarterly, 45, no. 4 (2005): 538-564.

“Promoting the ‘Public Welfare’ in Wartime: Stanford University During World War II.” American Journal of Education, 112, no. 1 (2005): 103-128.

“Evaluating Democracy: The 1946 U.S. Education Mission to Germany.”  American Journal of Evaluation, 26, no. 2 (2005): 267-277.

Chapters in Edited Volumes

Dorn, Charles and Doris Santoro.  “‘A Vital, Free, Independent & Lay Republic’: John Dewey and the Role of Education in Establishing the Turkish State.”  In Richard Garlitz and Lisa Jarvinen, eds. Teaching America to the World and the World to America:  Education and Foreign Relations since 1870.  New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

Dorn, Charles and Brian Puaca.  “‘The Appeal to the German Mind’: Educational Reconstruction in the American Zone of Occupation, 1944-1948.”  In Noah Sobe, ed.  American Post-Conflict Educational Reconstruction from the Spanish-American War to Iraq.  New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

Book Reviews

“Creating the College Man: American Mass Magazines and Middle-Class Manhood, 1890-1915.”  Teachers College Record, January 3, 2011.

“War Memory, Nationalism and Education in Postwar Japan, 1945-2007.”  History of Education Quarterly, 50, no. 1 (2010): 104-108.

“Innocents Abroad: American Teachers in the American Century.”  History of Education Quarterly, 47, no. 4 (2007): 539-543.

“The Free Speech Movement: Reflections on Berkeley in the 1960s.”  History of Education Quarterly, 44, no. 3 (2004): 457-459.

 “Learning to Divide the World.”  Educational Studies, 31, no. 3 (2000): 312-317.

Journalistic Publications

"Charter Schools Have a Troubled History," Portland Press Herald, June 25, 2011.

"Obama and FDR:  Remembering the Real Deal," Christian Science Monitor, October 18, 2010.

Recent Presentations

"Where's the Public in the Public Good?  Higher Education and the Triumph of Self Interest." Wellesley College. November 9, 2011. Wellesley, MA.

“Political Goals and Social Ideals: Dewey, Democracy, and the Emergence of the Turkish Republic.” Co-authored paper, with Doris Santoro, presented at the History of Education Society annual meeting as part of the symposium, “Importing John Dewey: Turkish, American, and Korean Efforts to Institutionalize Deweyan Progressivism.”  November 4-7, 2010.  Boston, MA.

“‘The Problem of Turkey’: John Dewey and the Process of Modernization.” Paper presented at the Organization of American Historians annual meeting as part of the symposium, “Americanization and Imperialism in Educational Projects Abroad.”  April 7-10, 2010.  Washington, D.C.

“‘Unity vs. Uniformity’: Deweyan Progressivism in the Turkish Republic.” Paper presented at the History of Education Society annual meeting as part of the symposium, “Imposition or Invitation?  American Education in International Contexts.”  October 22-25, 2009.  Philadelphia, PA.
“Education and The Good War: Re-thinking Democracy in the Wake of World War Two.” Chair and discussant for panel of papers presented at the History of Education Society annual meeting.  October 22-25, 2009.  Philadelphia, PA.

 “Education, Americanization and Paternalism, 1868-1918.” Commentator for panel of papers presented at the Society for Historians for American Foreign Relations annual meeting.  June 25-27, 2009. Falls Church, VA.

 “From ‘Learned Professions’ to ‘Lucrative Professions’: The Civic Functions of Higher Education in America.”  Paper presented at the History of Education Society annual meeting.  November 6-9,
2008.  St. Petersburg, FL.

Awards, Grants, Fellowships, & Invited Seminars

Fulbright Scholar Teaching/Research Award, University of Cape Town, South Africa, 2012-2013.

History of Education Society Best Article Prize, 2012.

Bowdoin Faculty Research Fellowship, 2011-2012.

Maine Campus Compact's Donald Harward Faculty Award for Service-Learning Excellence, 2011.

Spencer Foundation Grant, "Seeking the Common Good: Public Service and Higher Education in America," 2011-2012.

Fletcher Family Research Grant.  Bowdoin College Faculty Resources Committee, 2009-2010.

Faculty Research Award. Bowdoin College Faculty Development Committee, 2008-2009.

The Aspen Institute Wye Faculty Seminar on Citizenship and the American Polity, 2008.

Seeking the Common Good Grant.  Bowdoin College, Office of the Dean for Academic Affairs, 2007-2008.

Sydney B. Karofsky Prize Prize for Junior Faculty (for distinction in teaching).  Bowdoin College, 2006-2007.

Fletcher Family Research Grant. Bowdoin College Faculty Resources Committee, 2006-2007.