Heidi Ross (1954 - 2016)

Ross Heidi

Short Biography & Significant Contribution

Heidi Ross is Professor of Educational Policy Studies and Director of the East Asian Studies Center at Indiana University. Ross received her BA degree in Chinese language and literature from Oberlin College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation Ross taught English as a Second Language at Providence University in Taiwan. The rich educational and cultural experiences that flowed from living and teaching at this women's college inspired Ross to pursue graduate studies in applied linguistics and international and comparative education at the University of Michigan.

After receiving her Ph.D. in Educational Foundations, Policy and Administration at Michigan in 1987, Ross took a position at Colgate University, where she eventually served as director of Asian Studies and chair of Educational Studies. Ross also served as Robert Ho Chair, in recognition of her teaching and scholarship in Chinese Studies. In 2003 Ross moved to Indiana University, where she teaches social foundations and comparative and international education courses in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department. Ross continues to travel to China annually to study the relationships among secondary schooling, gender and social stratification.

She has worked on a diversity of school-related topics, including the contributions of U.S. liberal arts schools to teacher education, the development of girls' education and schools in China, and the development and implementation of "gender sensitive" curricula and environmental education in Chinese elementary and secondary schools. In addition to Chinese education, Ross has written widely on qualitative research methodology and gender and schooling, and her book publications include China Learns English (1983), The Ethnographic Eye (2000), and Taking Teaching Seriously (2007). Ross's recent research has focused on the relevance of the concept of social capital formation to understanding school reform in China's local communities and the impact of non-governmental organizations on Chinese educational reform and expansion.

Ross's current research focuses specifically on how China's changing economic and social contexts shape the ways parents and communities use public and private schools to enhance their children's life chances. She is involved in two large research projects, a longitudinal study of a girls' educational project in western China and a study of student engagement in Chinese higher education. Building collaborative opportunities into research and teaching has been indispensable to Ross's learning and thinking as a comparative educator, and a salient theme in her writing is the complex personal obligations that shape the negotiation of the purposes and outcomes of cross-cultural scholarship. Active throughout her career in comparative and international education, Ross is co-editor of the Comparative Education Review and has served as president of the Comparative and International Education Society.

Educational Background

BA in Chinese language and literature, Oberlin College

M.A. in Applied Linguistics and International and Comparative Education, University of Michigan

Ph.D. in Educational Foundations, Policy and Administration at Michigan (1987)

Professional Background

Professor, then Director of Asian Studies and Chair of Educational Studies, Colgate University

Professor, Indiana University

Affiliations (associations, organizations, institutions)

Comparative and International Education Society (US)

Selected Publications

Ross, H. and L. Wang. 2008. "Educating Girls as Community Leaders: Contradictions in one Spring Bud Project in Rural Shaanxi, China"Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 1:1, forthcoming.

Ross, H. and Ran Zhang, 2006. "Introduction: The Limits and Possibilities of Responsive Justice," Chinese Education and Society (July-August) 39:4, 3-10.

Ross, H. and Ran Zhang. 2006. "The Changing Landscape of Rule of Law and Students' Rights in China, Introduction." Chinese Education and Society (May-June) 39:3, 3-9.

Ross, H. and Lou Jingjing. 2005. "Glocalizing Chinese Higher Education: Groping for Stones to Cross the River." Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies. (Winter) 12:1, 227-250.

Ross, H. 2002. "The Space Between Us: The Relevance of Relational Theory to Re-imagining Comparative Education, (Presidential Address)." Comparative Education Review 46:4 (November), 407-432.

Ross, H. with contributions by Jingjing Lou, Lijing Yang, Olga Rybakova, and Phoebe Wakhunga. 2005. "Where and Who are the World's Illiterates: China." A Background Paper Submitted to UNESCO Global Monitoring Report. See http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/ev.php-URL_ID=43542&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

Liu, J., H. Ross, and D. Kelly, (eds.). 2000. The Ethnographic Eye: Interpretive Studies of Education in China. New York: Falmer Press.

Ross, H. 1993. China Learns English, Language Teaching and Social Change in the People's Republic. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Ross, H. 2007. "Policy as Practice, Agency as Voice, Research as Intervention: Imag(in)g Girls' Education in China" in Mary Ann Maslak, (Ed.) The Agency and Structure of Female Education (SUNY Press), 233-252.

Seeberg, V & Ross, H., Tan, G. and Liu, J. 2007. "The Case for Prioritizing Education For Girls Left Behind In Remote Rural China." In David Baker and Alexander Wiseman, (EDS) International Perspectives on Education and Society,, Volume 8, Education for All: Global Promises, National Challenges, (Oxford: Elsevier Science Ltd) Vol. 8, 111-158.

Ross, H. 2007. "Generally Educated Teachers: Engaging the Friction between Local and Global Knowledge" in Bjork, et al (Eds) Taking Teachers Seriously: What we can learn from Educators at Liberal Arts Institutions. (Paradigm Press), pp. 132-148.

Ross, H. 2006. "Schools and Gender Stratification: The State, NGO's and Transnational Alliances" in Gerry Postiglione (Ed.), Education, Social Change, and Stratification in China, Inequality in a Market Economy. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, pp 25-50.

Ross, H. and Jing Lin. 2006. "Social Capital Formation through Chinese School Communities" in Emily Hannum and Bruce Fuller, Eds.,Children's Lives and Schooling Across Societies, Research in the Sociology of Education Vol. 15, Elsevier, Ltd., pp 43-69.

Ross, H. 2003. "Rethinking Human Vulnerability, Security, and Connection through Relational Theorizing," in Wayne Nelles (ed)Comparative Education, Terrorism and Human Security: From Critical Pedagogy to Peace Building? (New York:: Palgrave-Macmillan), pp. 33-46.

Ross, H. 2001. "Historical Memory, Community Service, and Project Hope: Reclaiming the Social Purposes of Education at the Shanghai McTyeire School for Girls," in Peterson, Hayhoe, and Yong, (eds.) Pathways to Reform: China's Education in the 20th Century. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press), pp. 569-632.

Ross, H. 2000. "Moment by Moment-Discourses of Power, Narratives of Relationships: Framing Ethnography of Chinese Schooling, 1981-1997," in Liu, Ross, and Kelly (eds.), The Ethnographic Eye: Interpretive Studies of Education in China (New York: Falmer), pp. 123-152.


Created: 3/15/2008

Updated: 3/1/2016

Contributed By: Heidi Ross, Indiana University