photo: Laura Engel

Laura Engel

Assistant Professor of International Education and International Affairs
Faculty: Full-Time
Room 205
Address: 2129 G St., N.W.
Phone: 202-994-1515
Fax: 202-994-8263

Areas of Expertise

International and comparative education, globalization, education policy, Europe/EU studies, immigration


Professor Engel received her B.A. in Spanish from University of Wisconsin-Madison, her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and her Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies with specialization in Global Studies in Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She has experience conducting national and cross-national research in education and social policy in Europe, including extensive work on two large-scale, cross-national, European Union-funded research projects. She currently is a faculty member in GW's International Education Program.

Professor Engel's research explores the political economy of education, concentrating on the relationship between globalization and educational change. Her research focuses on on three overlapping areas: (1) globalization and education policy formation, including the education policy uses of international large-scale assessments, (2) national and cross-national studies of globalization, immigration, and inclusive schooling, (3) internationalization of education and global citizenship education.


Ph.D., 2007, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign


  • de Wit, H. & Engel, L. C. (in press, expected 2014). Building and deepening a comprehensive strategy to internationalise Romanian higher education. In J. Salmi, E. Egron-Polak, R. Pricopie, A. Curaj, & L. Deca (eds). Romania: Between the Bologna Process and national challenges/priorities. Springer.
  • Engel, L. C. & Rutkowski, D. (accepted, 2014). Global influences on national definitions of quality education: Examples from Spain and Italy. Policy Futures in Education.
  • Engel, L. C. & Feuer, M. J. (2014). Five myths about international large-scale assessments. Education Week
  • Engel, L. C. (2014). Internationalizing schools to build global competence: Some considerations for teachers. National Capital Language Resource Center. 
  • Engel, L. C., Rutkowski, L. & Rutkowski, D. (2014). Global mobility and rising inequality: A cross-national study of immigration, poverty, and social cohesion. Peabody Journal of Education, 86(1), 123-140
  • Engel, L. C. & Williams, J. (2013). (Eds.). The globalization of assessment: A forum on international tests of student performance. Special issue of Research in Comparative and International Education, 8(3):
  • Williams, J. & Engel, L. C. (2013). Testing to rank, testing to learn, testing to improve: Introduction and overview. Research in Comparative and International Education, 8(3), 214-235
  • Engel, L. C., Kington, A. & Mezclo, A. (2013). The influence of primary education on community cohesion: Adaptation of policy to practice. Journal of Educational Research, 106(5)
  • Rutkowski, L., Rutkowski, D. & Engel, L. C. (2013). Sharp contrasts at the boundaries: Violence and educational outcomes internationally. Comparative Education Review, 57(2), 232-259.
  • Williams, J. & Engel, L. C. (2012-2013). How the rest of the world evaluates teachers. Phi Delta Kappan, 94(4), 53-57.
  • Williams, J. H., Engel, L. C. & Feuer, M. J. (2012). The global context of practice and preaching: Do high-scoring countries practice what US discourse preaches? GSEHD working paper, 2.3. 
  • Engel, L. C. & Rutkowski, D. (2012). UNESCO without US funding? Implications for education worldwide. Center for Evaluation and Education Policy: Indiana University.
  • Engel, L. C. (2012). Autonomy in the global era: Euro-regionalism and new policy spaces in education. In R.Brooks, A. Fuller, & J. Waters, J. (eds.). New spaces of education: The changing nature of learning in the 21st century. London: Routledge.
  • Engel, L. C. & Olden, K. (2012). One size fits all: Globalization and standardization of US education. In B. Shaklee & S. Bailey (eds.). Internationalizing Teacher Education. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
  • Latorre, A., Gómez, A. & Engel, L. C. (2010). Metodologia comunicativa crítica, transformació i inclusió social [Critical communicative research, transformation and social inclusion]. Temps d’Educació, 38, 153-165.
  • Rutkowski, D. & Engel, L. C. (2010). Soft power and hard measures: Large-scale assessment, citizenship and the EU. European Educational Research Journal, 9(3), 382-396.
  • Engel, L. C., Holford, J. & Wilson-Pimlott, H. (2010). Effectiveness, inequality and ethos in three English schools. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 30(3), 140-154.
  • Engel, L. C. (2009). New state formations in educational policy: Reflections from Spain. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • Engel, L. C., Rutkowski, D. & Rutkowski, L. (2009). The harsher side of globalisation: Violent conflict and academic achievement. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 7(4), 433-456.
  • Rizvi, F. & Engel, L. C. (2009). Neo-liberal globalization, educational policy, and the struggle for social justice. In W. Ayers, T. Quinn & D. Stovall (Eds.), The handbook of social justice in education (pp. 529-541). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  • Engel, L. C. & Ortloff, D. H. (2009). From the local to the supranational: Curriculum reform and the production of the ideal citizen in two federal systems, Germany and Spain. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 41(2), 179-198.
  • Engel, L. C. (2008). Breaking the centre-periphery mould: Exploring globalisation and educational governance in Catalonia. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 6(3), 265-279.

Classes Taught

EDUC 6601 International and Comparative Education

EDUC 6602 Education and Diversity in Europe and the EU

EDUC 6615 Internationalizing U.S. Schools

EDUC 6640 Citizenship, Language, Culture and Nation-building in the Global Era