Welcome to the new cyberspace home of

Maureen Porter

I am an Assistant Professor in the School of Education's Administrative and Policy Studies Department (ADMPS) at the University of Pittsburgh. I am a member of the Department's Social and Comparative Analysis of Education (SCAE) program where I head the program in Anthropology and Education.

I was very pleased to accept an appointment as Senior Associate at the School of Education's Institute for International Studies in Education (IISE). I also have a joint appointment in the Anthropology department which means that I cross-list most of my courses, have gradate students, pursue joint research projects, and participate in activities there too. I am also affiliated with the West European Area Studies at the University Center for International Studies (UCIS) and the Women's Studies Program.

I pursued my education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Albert Ludwigs Universität in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. I completed my Ph.D. at the School of Education at Stanford University where I studied in the SIDEC and Social Sciences and Educational Practice programs. An excerpt from my Master's thesis in Anthropology was published under the title: "The Bauer County Fair: Youth Experiences of Learning and Belonging."

As an active member of the "Pitt" faculty and of overlapping professional communities, I serve my colleagues in several capacities. I am on the editorial board of the Journal of Research in Rural Education and regularly review submissions. I am currently on the board of the International Education SIG and serve as the program chair for the Rural Education SIG of AERA. In Pittsburgh I contribute via departmental committees, and I am one of the reviewers for the School of Education's Faculty and Student Research Award. I am also honored to be an elected representative for the professional schools to Pitt's Faculty Assembly. If you would like to contact me about any of these capacities, please use the handy e-mail function or other addresses at the end of these pages.

As a complement to my many academic responsibilities as a professor, I delight in applying my ideas and expertise the field. Most recently, I have been working on a multi-year project on metaphors of self and place in Appalachia. I am also involved in consulting work in which I use ethnography to design and evaluate education policy in such areas as: a sense of place; informal, intergenerational learning; community celebrations; ethnic and gendered expressions of community; and ritual in education. If you would like more detailed information about my research, teaching, consulting, awards, and professional activities, feel free to browse my curriculum vitae.


As an extension of my work with metaphors, I decided to represent my work, interests, and myself through the visual medium of a quilt. The many indiviudal patches of my professional/ personal/political life each have their own special qualities. Some are quirky, others are intriguing. Some parts stand boldly on their own. Some first became exciting when contrasted and paired with other parts. I am always experimenting with new combinations and new fabrics. Just click on the nine-patch block next to the item that you wish to visit. The quilt that I have incorporated into these pages was made by my Grandma and given to me as a special present. I treasure it as the embodiment of the various parts of her life and her unique vision.

This site is your center for information on my primary academic pursuits:

Courses Curent Research & Supervised Fieldwork Opportunities
Consulting Interests and Programs Building a Program in Anthropology and Education
What is Service Learning? Cultivating Writing Groups

Resources of interest and assistance to students, colleagues, and friends (which, I am glad to say, are often mutually inclusive categories):

Advising Guide Bibliographies, Hot Links, Resources

Professional Organizations, Journals, Listserves and Other GREAT On-line Resources

You are one of the people who have visted this site since September 1, 1997.

This is a picture of my door area, 5P36 Forbes Quad. One of the ways that some faculty members express their professional and personal interests is through a multimedia display on a bulletin board or wall (mine is on the yellow board to the right of my door). I have always been intrigued by these eclectic forms of academic folk art. I invite you to come by and to enjoy my changing exhibit. This is also where you will find my office hours policies as well as the sign up sheet. Please also come take a closer look at the series of paintings throughout the School of Education. The plaque to the left reads, "Painted and donated by Thomas Bowen's 1976-1977 fifth grade class, Baker Elementary School, Upper St. Clair School District."

Email : mporter+@pitt.edu

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