Joel Spring lived for many years on an island off the coast of Sitka, Alaska. His novel, Alaskan Visions, reflects these Alaskan experiences. His recent novels include An All-American Family, which is about Native Americans, slavery, racism, gay marriage, and hippies, and Common Core: A Story of School Terrorism, a satire about recent school reform.
He has worked as a forensic historian preparing two expert witness briefs using historical documentation to prove the responsibility of the Canadian government for the psychological and cultural damage to the citizens of the Cree Nation caused by their experience in residential boarding schools. In the fall of 2005, a Canadian federal arbitrator awarded $4 billion to the First Nations, including the Cree, as reparations for the suffering caused by residential boarding schools.
Spring has given invited lecture nationally and internationally, including Singapore, Turkey, China, Vietnam, New Zealand, Australia, and Taiwan. In the fall of 2012, he lectured on “Global Issues: Schooling Minority Cultures and Languages” to honor the opening of the multicultural center at Minzu University, Beijing China. He has been given numerous educational awards and lectureships including the Society of Professors of Education Mary Anne Raywid Award for Distinguished Scholarship in the Field of Education; the University of Wisconsin Alumni Achievement Award; Gerald H. Read Distinguished Lecturer; Presidential Lectureship, University of Vermont; Mitstifer Lectureship; Green Honors Chair Lectures, Texas Christian University; R. Freeman Butts Lecture; and the John Dewey Memorial Lecture.
He has published over twenty books on American and global school policies. His most recent scholarly works include The Economization of Education; Globalization of Education: An Introduction 2nd Edition; Political Agendas for Education: From Race to the Top to Saving the Planet; Corporatism, Social Control, and Cultural Domination in Education: From the Radical Right to Globalization; with Anthony Picciano, The Great American Education-Industrial Complex: Ideology, Technology, and Profit; and Education Networks: Power, Wealth, Cyberspace, and the Digital Mind. His textbook American Education is currently in its 16th edition.