Judith Herb College of Education

Edward Janak, Ph.D.

Professor/Department Chair
Department of Educational Studies

Edward Janak

Academic program:
Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education

Office: Gillham Hall 5000-C
Office Phone: 419-530-4114
Email: edward.janak@utoledo.edu
Mailing address: Mail Stop 921
2801 West Bancroft St.
Toledo, OH 43606-3390

List of Degrees:

  • Ph.D. Social, Philosophical, and Historical Foundations of Education, University of South Carolina—Columbia, August 2003
  • M.Ed., Secondary Education—English, U.S.C. Columbia, August 1996
  • B.A., English, S.U.N.Y. College at Fredonia, May 1992

Awards and Honors:

  • President’s Award for Excellence in Creative and Scholarly Activity, 2021
  • Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Felicia F. Campbell Area Chair Award, 2014
  • University of Wyoming Mortarboard Society “Top Prof,” 2006, 2011 & 2012
  • University of Wyoming College of Education Faculty Award for Outstanding Advising, 2011
  • University of Wyoming Promoting Intellectual Engagement Award, 2009 & 2011
  • University of Wyoming College of Education Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching, 2010


I am a foundation of education scholar who focuses on historical foundations and educational biography—I love good stories from the past that can inform the present.  I also enjoy exploring means in which popular culture can inform teaching and research in education.

Research Focus Areas:

  • Historical foundations of education/historical intersections between schooling and marginalized populations
  • Life writing/educational biography and oral history

Current Research Projects:

My current research explores the impact of the Rockefeller-sponsored General Education Board funding on the marginalized populations of the US West in the early 20th Century.

Outreach Projects/Community Engagement:

I serve on the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Council of Community Schools and serve on their Performance and Accountability Committee.

Selected Publications:

  • Janak, E. & Dousay, T. (2020). Ben Henneke and College by Radio: Expanding midcentury educational opportunity at the University of Tulsa.  The Journal of American Culture,43(4), 312-323.
  • Janak, E. (2020). What do you mean it’s not there?  Doing null history.  The American Archivist,83(1), 57-76.
  • Janak, E. (2020). Personal generosity or corporate imperialism?  Lessons in educational philanthropy from the General Education Board.  The Journal of Philosophy and History of Education, 70 (1), 67-77.
  • Janak, E. (2019). A Brief History of Schooling in the United States: From Pre-Colonial Times to the Present.  New York: Palgrave-MacMillan Press.
  • Janak, E. & Sourdot, L. Eds. (2018).  Educating through Popular Culture:  You’re Not Cool Just Because You Teach with Comics.  Lanham, MD:  Lexington Press.
  • Janak, E. (2018). Bridgers and brokers: Collective biography in the study of the General Education Board in the US West. Vitae Scholasticae, 35(1), 5-24.
  • Janak, E. (2018). Bracketing and bridling: Using narrative reflexivity to confront researcher bias and the impact of social identity in a historical study. Philanthropy and Education, 1(2), 82-93.
  • Dousay, T. & Janak, E. (2018). All things considered: Educational radio as the first MOOCs. TechTrends 62(6), 555-562.
  • Janak, E. & Pescara-Kovach, L. (2017). Four decades, three songs, too much violence: Using popular culture media analysis to prepare preservice teachers for dealing with school violence. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy 4(1),
  • Janak, E. & Helmsing, M. (2017). Problematizing philanthropy: How a historical study of the General Education Board in the U.S. West puts the ‘social’ in race and region as social constructs.  Race Ethnicity and Education, 20(2), 277-288.
  • Janak, E. (2014). Politics, Disability and Education Reform in the South: The Work of John Eldred Swearingen. New York: Palgrave-MacMillan Press.
  • Scott, Q. & Janak, E. (2021). Teaching Kendi: The possibilities of How to be an Antiracist in preparing the future of diversity offices in higher education.  Vitae Scholasticae. 37 (1&2), 110-118.

Courses Taught:

  • HED 5/7900 Diversity Leadership
  • TSOC 2000: Diversity in Contemporary Society First-Year Experience
  • TSOC 3000: Schooling and Democratic Society
  • TSOC 5/7100: Network Theory in Educational Reform
  • TSOC 5/7110: Modern Educational Controversies
  • TSOC 5/7400: History of Education
  • TSOC 6/8140: School-State Relations
  • TSOC 6/8190 Seminar In Popular Culture in Education


Last Updated: 6/27/22