John  Ambrosio Author of Evaluating Organization Development

John Ambrosio

Associate Professor
Ball State University

John Ambrosio is associate professor of social foundations of education in the Department of Educational Studies at Ball State University. In 2013 he received an eleven-month Core Fulbright Scholar Program grant to teach and conduct research with colleagues in the Faculty of Education at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Subjects: Education


Dr. John Ambrosio was a late bloomer, having earned his Ph.D. from the University of Washington (Seattle) at the age of 49.  He began his career (and remains) at Ball State University in the Department of Educational Studies where, since August 2006, his research and courses have focused on examining issues of equity and social justice in education.  Dr. Ambrosio has wide-ranging intellectual interests and has taught courses in multicultural education, social foundations of education, educational sociology, and education and ethics.  His scholarship is strongly influenced by the work of Antonio Gramsci, Michel Foucault, Stuart Hall, and others.  In his first article as a new faculty member, Dr. Ambrosio published a groundbreaking study of Foucault’s later writings, arguing that they constituted a break from his earlier preoccupation with demolishing the subject, and that Foucault sought to counterbalance this by embracing the notion of an autonomous and reflexive subject capable of making ethical choices (Writing the self: Ethical self-formation and the undefined work of freedom, in Educational Theory).  Dr. Ambrosio employs various analytical lenses to examine issues of educational policy and school reform, such as how neoliberalism informs and structures the testing and accountability regime in public schools in the U.S., and how the transformation of whiteness in the U.S. might positively affect the racial attitudes and behaviors of some white college students.  Most recently, Dr. Ambrosio was a Fulbright Scholar in the Faculty of Education at the University of the Free State in South Africa from August 2013 to July 2014, where he conducted research that examined the relation between the lived experience of senior educational leaders and how they conceptualize and practice leadership for transformation and social justice.  During that time, Dr. Ambrosio collaborated with two South African colleges in the Faculty to prepare a book chapter that envisioned how teacher educators in South Africa can develop an orientation toward social justice among preservice teachers (Re-visioning teacher education for social justice in post-apartheid South Africa, in Social justice and transformative learning: Culture and identity in the United States and South Africa).  Dr. Ambrosio is currently conducing research on the "#Fees must fall" student protest movements in South Africa.


    Ph.D. University of Washington, Seattle

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    My primary areas of research include educational leadership, educational policy studies, school reform, curriculum theory, philosophy of education, and whiteness and racial justice.


Featured Title
 Featured Title - Educational Leadership for Transformation Ambrosio - 1st Edition book cover


International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education

Teaching the psychosocial subject: White students and racial privilege

Published: Nov 13, 2016 by International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education
Authors: John Ambrosio
Subjects: Education

Because white college students are situated in the convergence of certain economic and demographic forces that inform their personal experience and constrain their economic opportunities, they may be more susceptible than other whites to acknowledging white racial privilege and refiguring identity.

Educational Studies

Changing the subject: Neoliberalism and accountability in public education

Published: Nov 13, 2016 by Educational Studies
Authors: John Ambrosio
Subjects: Education

Since the early twentieth century, accountability in education was synonymous with efficiency, but the meaning of efficiency began to change around 1965, following the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which required annual audits of program effectiveness. In the early 1980s the accountability system was appropriated and harnessed to a neoliberal political project of cultural reconstruction and moral reform.