Department of Curriculum & Instruction
Research focus: Educational reform/change
Countries of Interest: Kenya
Chris was previously affiliated with African Studies at Kansas University, and both his current book project Gritty: A Genealogy of the Global Learning Crisis and the Child and other related publications continue to draw significantly upon research he did into conditions of colonial and contemporary school reforms in Kenya.
His current research explores a few related moments—specifically, the translation of U.S.-sponsored school reforms in Kenya Colony; 2) the development of prison village re-education in response to Mau Mau; and, 3) the rapid scaling up of data-driven low-fee for-profit school reforms in Kenya. He uses these historical juxtapositions in order to understand how each configured the crisis in terms of a lack of psychological qualities deemed necessary for progress. Today, this is stated as the desire for the gritty child who is posited as able to overcome various the various forms of economic, social, and political precarity and as a guaranteeing national and global economic futures.