Isabel Nuñez, PhD

Associate Professor of Foundations and Social Policy

College of Graduate and Innovative Programs

Dr. Nuñez teaches Language and Linguistics, Assessment of Bilingual Students, Teaching English as a Second Language and Seminar in Reflective Practice. Among her research interests are curriculum studies, multiculturalism and education, sexuality and education, narrative inquiry and qualitative research methodologies.

She is also involved with the University’s examination and dissertation committees. Previously, Dr. Nuñez held faculty positions at the University of Illinois at Chicago, DePaul University and National Louis University. She also served an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles and Birmingham, England. Dr. Nuñez has been a member of Concordia’s faculty since 2006.


  • PhD, Curriculum Studies. University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago.
  • MPhil,Cultural Studies, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
  • JD, Law, University of California School of Law. Los Angeles, Calif.
  • BA, English, University of Southern California. Los Angeles, Calif.

Academic and Professional Highlights

Selected Invited Publications

  • “Teacher deskilling and teacher bashing.” (Forthcoming) In M. F. He, B. D. Schultz, & W. H. Schubert (Eds.), Guide to curriculum in education. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

  • “Who says we can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear? Transforming market based programs into critical education.” Konkol, P., Stumme, S., & Nuñez, I.  (Forthcoming). In P. Hinchey (Ed.), The action research reader. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

  • “What’s common in core curricula?” (In press). In S. Farenga & D. Ness (Eds.), Alternatives to privatizing public education: Conversations in honor of Dale D. Johnson.  New York, NY: Routledge.

  • “Confessions of a Latina professor: Self-protection in the landscape of higher education.” (In press). The Sophist’s Bane: A Journal of the Society of Professors of Education (Special Issue: Minority Women Professors Venturing on the Landscapes of Education).

  • “Action foundations! A comic (book) tale of defending Educational Studies. Nuñez, I., & Konkol, P. (2013). Critical Questions in Education (Theme issue: In Defense of Foundations).

Selected Publications

  • Worth striking for: Why education policy is every teacher’s concern. Nuñez, I., Michie, G., & Konkol, P. (2015). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

  • “3,417 footnotes: Troubling the public pedagogy of CReATE.” Nuñez, I., Konkol, P., & Schultz, B. (2014). In J. Burdick, J. A. Sandlin, & M. P. O’Malley (Eds.), Problematizing public pedagogy. New York, NY: Routledge.

  • “A worthwhile struggle, amply rewarded” (book review). (2013). Multicultural Perspectives: An Official Journal of the National Association for Multicultural Education (15)2, 114-120.

  • “Taking roots and wing in the multicultural teaching of teachers of English” (book review). Nuñez, I. (2011). Multicultural Perspectives: An Official Journal of the National Association for Multicultural Education (13)2, 115-118.

  • “Good for us, good for our students: A self-study of self-study.” Konkol, P. J., Nuñez, I., & Stumme, S. (2010). Lutheran Education Journal, 144(1). Available: www.lej.cuchicago.edu.

Selected Reports and White Papers

  • Briefing paper #1—Testing today in context: History, impact, alternatives. Nuñez, I., Hilton, P., Knight, E., Kumashiro, K., Kuzmic, J., Michie, G., Schultz, B., Sobe, N., & Stovall, D.  (2012). Chicago, IL: CReATE.

Selected Invited Presentations

  • “Teacher educators and community-based education activists unite! Chicago as a site of change.” Gorlewski, J., Lamme, B., Nuñez, I., Oyler, C., Stovall, D., & Shiller, J. (2015). Chicago, IL: Invited session at the American Educational Research Association annual meeting.

  • “Not for sale: Curriculum activism in the age of commodification.” (2014). Savannah, GA: Invited panel presentation at the Curriculum Studies Summer Collaborative.

  • “The evolving significance of race.” Nuñez, I., & Stovall, D.  (2013). Dayton, OH: Invited ‘Provoking Dialogues’ session at the Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice.

  • “What we know, what we don’t know, and why it matters: Surveying the civic research landscape.” (2013). Indianapolis, IN: Center for Civic Literacy Conference.

  • “Unity in action: Making plans for collective action in the coming year.” (2013). Madison, WI: Invited panelist at the Education for Democracy Conference.

  • “The problem of high-stakes testing and its effect on school pushout.” (2013). Washington, DC: Invited speaker at We can do better: Collaborating to reform school discipline and accountability, a conference of the Advancement Project.

  • “Reconsidering social foundations of education: Promises and perils.” (2013). San Francisco, CA: Panelist for the John Dewey Society Symposium at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting.

  • Conference panelist (Beyond theory into practice: Teaching diversity in a nondiverse environment; White privilege; First generation college students: Access and success in higher education; Public schools and inclusivity). (2013). Springfield, MO: Missouri State University’s Public Affairs Conference.

  • “Curriculum and teaching at the end of the world: Will the phoenix arise in Chicago?” (2013). Chicago, IL: Keynote address at the Chicago Curriculum Studies Student Symposium.

  • “Because you know the value of struggle.” (2013). River Forest, IL: Invited address at Concordia University Chicago graduate commencement exercises.

  • “Invited presentation on panel addressing charter school funding.” (2012). Chicago, IL: CReATE Research Symposium on Illinois Education Policy and Legislation.

  • “Emergent womanist curriculum perspectives and possibilities.” (2012). He, M. F., Ross, S., Janis, S. Mikell, C., & Nuñez, I.  (2012). Dayton, OH: Invited all-conference session presented at the Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice.

  • “Standardized testing and the future of education.” (2012). Chicago, IL: Café Society talk for The Public Square.

Selected Presentations

  • “Education in the public interest?” Schubert, W., He, M. F., Prakash, M. S., & Nuñez, I.  (2014). Toronto, Canada: Panel presentation at the American Educational Studies Association annual meeting.

  • “A policy curriculum: Empowering teacher voices.” (2014). Dayton, OH: Paper presentation at the Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice.

  • “Tales from the Right: Propaganda as the new mythology.” Ohlinger, D. J., & Nuñez, I. (2014). Savannah, GA: Curriculum Studies Summer Collaborative.

  • “A discourse of democracy: The role of researchers, faculty and community organizations in education reform.” Nuñez, I., Stovall, D., Huckaby, F., Ayers, R., Anderson, G., Weiner, L., Katz, S., & Warren, M. (2014). Philadelphia, PA: Panel discussion at the American Educational Research Association annual meeting.

  • “Friendship as foundation: The value of community for educators under fire.” Nuñez, I. (2013). Baltimore, MD: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Studies Association.

  • “Education activism, mobilization and instigation in diverse contexts: Resisting education deform in Chicago.” Kempf, A., Nuñez, I., Suzuki, D., Silverberg, R. P., & Dodge, A. D. (2013). New York, Canada and online.  Dayton, OH: Panel presentation at the Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice.

  • “The teacher and the curriculum: Who knows best what’s worth knowing.” Nuñez, I., Ohlinger, J., & Schubert, W.H.  (2013). Chicago, IL: Conversationalist session at the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum Conference.

  • “The Chicago teacher’s strike: Conserving the landscape of education.” (2013). Chicago, IL: Paper presented at the Organization of Educational Historians annual meeting.

  • “Critical conversations around the Common Core State Standards.” Price, T., Helfenbein, R., Job, J., & Nuñez, I. (2013). San Francisco, CA: Panel discussion at the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies annual meeting.

Selected Media

  • Keep Hope Alive with the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Radio interview. (2013). Internationally syndicated. May 26.

  • Up Front with the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Television interview. (2013). The Word Network. May 11.

  • “Watching our Chicago Public Schools close is like ‘being stuck in a bad dream.’” Online commentary. (2013). TakePart. April 26.

  • “Chicago charter operator in corporate pockets.” Online commentary. (2013). Huffington Post, February 11.

  • Uprising. Radio interview. (2013). KPFK 90.7 FM. Los Angeles, CA. January 16.

  • Critique. Radio interview. (2012). WUSB 90.1 FM. New York City, NY. October 1.

  • Chicago Tonight. Television interview. (2012). WTTV channel 11. Chicago, IL. September 25.

  • Hofstra Morning Wake-Up Call. Radio interview. (2012). Radio Hofstra WRHU 88.7 FM. New York City, NY. September 25.

  • "Standardized test scores are worst way to evaluate teachers." Newspaper commentary. (2012). Chicago Sun-Times, September 12.

Selected Service

  • President-elect, Society of Professors of Education, term begins 2016

  • Secretary, AERA Division B Curriculum Studies, 2014-2016

  • Associate Editor, Multicultural Perspectives: An Official Journal of the National Association for Multicultural Education, 2010-present

Awards and Honors

  • Ann Lynn Lopez Schubert Memorial Fellowship inaugural recipient, 2008.

  • American Educational Research Association Division B Graduate Student Seminar participant and travel award recipient, 2005.

  • Diversity Fellow, University of Illinois, 2002-2006.

  • Eisenhower Fellow for Minority Math and Science Education, 1994-1996.