Charles Dorn

Affiliation: Education
Barry N. Wish Professor of Social Studies

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. In 2017, he published For the Common Good: A New History of Higher Education in the United States, a work that challenges the rhetoric of America’s so-called crisis in higher education by investigating two centuries of college and university history. From the community college to the elite research universityin states from California to MaineDorn engages a fundamental question confronted by higher education institutions ever since the nation’s founding: Do colleges and universities contribute to the common good? 

Most recently, Dorn published (with co-author Randall Curren) Patriotic Education in a Global Age. This volume asks whether schools should attempt to cultivate patriotism and, if so, with what conception of patriotism in mind? Dorn and Curren trace the aims and rationales that have guided the inculcation of patriotism in American schools over the years, the methods by which schools have sought to cultivate patriotism, and the conceptions of patriotism at work in those aims, rationales, and methods. They then examine what those conceptions mean for justice, education, and human flourishing. 

Patriotic Education Book Cover Image Common Good Book Cover Image Philosophy History Book Cover Image

Charles Dorn Headshot


  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Education, 2003
  • MA, Stanford University, Graduate School of Education, 1994
  • BA, George Washington University, 1990