Laura Engel

Headshot of Laura Engel

Laura Engel

Professor of International Education and International Affairs

Full-time Faculty


Email: Laura Engel
Office Phone: (202) 994-0623

Laura Engel is Professor of International Education and International Affairs and co-Chair of the UNESCO Chair in International Education for Development at The George Washington University. As a policy sociologist working in the field of comparative and international education, Laura focuses on global education policy trends in federal systems, including national and cross-national studies on global citizenship education. Her latest book is Sociological Foundations of Education (Bloomsbury, 2022), and has recent journal articles appearing in Educational Researcher, Comparative Education Review, and British Journal of Sociology of Education. She is the recipient of the 2022 GW Morton A. Bender Teaching Award and a 2023-2024 Fulbright Scholar Award. Dr. Engel earned her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

International and comparative education, globalization, policy sociology, education policy, federal systems, Spain/Catalonia

Focused on global education policy trends in federal systems, including national and cross-national studies on global citizenship education.

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


EDUC 6602 Regional Studies in Education

EDUC 6610 Globalization, Citizenship and Education

EDUC 6615 Internationalizing U.S. Schools: Comparative Perspective

EDUC 6640 Education for Global Sustainability

SEHD 8100 Social Theories in Comparative and International Education

Sociological Foundations of Education (Bloomsbury, 2022)

Appears in Educational Researcher, Comparative Education Review, and British Journal of Sociology of Education.


Engel, L. C., & Gonzalez, S. (2022). Toward inclusive internationalisation of schools: Educators’ perspectives on leading students in global experiences. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice.

Engel, L. C., & Koumtingue, E. (2022). Citizenship education in the global digital age: Thematic paper. Paris, France: UNESCO.

Yemini, M., Engel, L. C., Lee, M., & Maxwell, C. (2022). Cosmopolitan nationalism and global citizenship rhetoric: Analysis of policies and curricula in South Korea, Israel and the US. In Tröhler, D., Piattoeva, N., & Pinar, W. F. (Eds.). World Yearbook of Education, Volume 2022: Education, Schooling and the Global Universalization of Nationalism. London: Routledge.

Engel, L. C., & Burch, P. (2021). Policy sociology in the contemporary global era: Continued importance and pressing methodological considerations. Educational Researcher, 50(7), 474-478.

Wallner, J., Savage, G., Hartong, S., & Engel, L. C. (2020). Laboratories, co-producers and venues: Illuminating the varying roles of subnational governments in the formation of standards-based assessments in federations. Comparative Education Review, 64(2), 249-268.

Engel, L. C. & Gibson, H. (2020). Elite making and increasing access to cosmopolitan capital: DC youth experiences in education abroad. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education.

Maxwell, C., Yemini, M., Engel, L. C., & Lee, M. (2020). Cosmopolitan nationalism in the cases of South Korea, Israel and the U.S. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 41(2), 845-858.

Goel, K., Cai, X., Ogwal, S., Wong, A., Engel, L. C., & McCarthy, C. (2020). The world before us: Reappraising globalization in education in the tumult of contemporary change. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 42(5), 641-647.

Idrissi, H., Engel, L. C., & Pashby, K. (2020). The diversity conflation and action ruse: A critical discourse analysis of the OECD’s framework for global competence. Comparative and International Education/Éducation Comparée et Internationale, 49(1)

Rozenfeld, I., Yemini, M., & Engel, L. C. (2020). Walking between the raindrops: The role of religion in globalised schooling. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 42(5), 780-795.

Idrissi, H., Engel, L. C., & Benabderrazik, Y. (2019). New visions for citizen formation: An analysis of citizenship education policy in Morocco. Education, Citizenship and Social Justice

Engel, L. C., Rutkowski, D., & Thompson, G. (2019). Toward an international measure of global competence? A critical look at PISA 2018 handbook. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 17(2), 117-131.

Engel, L. C. (2019). Pathways of internationalization in US schooling: Local innovations in inclusive global education. Policy Futures in Education, 17(6), 699-714.

Engel, L., Maxwell, C., & Yemini, M. (2019). The Machinery of School Internationalisation in Action: Beyond the Established Boundaries New York: Routledge.

Engel, L. C., & Siczek, M. (2018). Framing global education in the United States: Policy perspectives. In L. D. Hill, & F. J. Levine (Eds.), Global Perspectives in Education Research (pp. 26-47). London: Routledge.

Siczek, M., & Engel, L. C. (2017). Teachers’ cognitive interpretations of U.S. global education policy. Educational Policy.

Engel, L. C., Fundalinski, J., Gatalica, K., Gibson, H., & Ireland, K. (2017). Global citizenship education for every student: The case of DC public schools’ study abroad program. Childhood Education, 93(6), 516-524.

Engel, L. C. (2017). Underrepresented students in study abroad: Investigating impacts. Washington, DC: Institute of International Education.

Engel, L. C., & Siczek, M. (2017). A cross-national comparison of international strategies: National competitiveness or global citizenship? Compare: A Journal of Comparative Education.

Engel, L. C., Fundalinski, J., & Cannon, T. (2016). Global citizenship education at a local level: A comparative analysis of four U.S. urban districts. Revista de Educación Comparativa Espanola [Journal of Spanish Comparative Education], 28, 23-51.

Chavatzia, T., Engel, L.C., & Hastedt, D. (2016). Where are the immigrant girls? Perspectives from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). IEA commissioned policy brief.

Engel, L. C. (2016). Defining and debating the common “we”: Analyses of citizen formation beyond the nation-state mould. In J. Williams & W. Bokhorst-Heng (eds.). (Re)building Memory: Textbooks, identity, and the pedagogies and politics of imagining community. Vol. 2: Textbooks, identity, nation and state. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Engel, L. C., Banks, D., Patterson, J., & Stehle, S. (2015). Research related to the International Baccalaureate: An annotated bibliography of 2014 studies. Bethesda, MD: International Baccalaureate Organization.

Engel, L. C. (2015). Steering the national: Exploring the education policy uses of PISA in Spain. European Education, 47(2), 100-116.

Engel, L. C., & Frizzell, M. (2015). Competitive comparison and PISA bragging rights: Sub-national uses of the OECD’s PISA in Canada and the US. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education.

Engel, L. C. (2015). Building deep and relevant global teaching and learning. Invited guest feature column, The Language Resource, National Capital Language Resource Center.

Watkins, R., Engel, L. C., & Hadsteadt, D. (2015). Is the “net generation” ready for digital citizenship? Perspectives from the IEA International Computer and Information Literacy Study. Policy brief: IEA International Computer and Information Literacy Study. IEA commissioned policy brief.

de Wit, H., & Engel, L. C. (2015). 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. New York: Springer.

Engel, L. C. (2014). Citizenship education and national (re)formations: Reflections from Spain. Education, Citizenship and Social Justice.

Engel, L. C., Vilela, A., & Reich, M. (2014). The role of teachers in quality education in Latin America and the Caribbean: Exploring new forms of horizontal cooperation. In Wiseman, A. & Anderson, E. (eds). Annual review of comparative and international education. Bingley, UK: Emerald Books.

Rutkowski, D., Rutkowski, L., & Engel, L. C. (2014). Inclusive schooling: Fostering citizenship among immigrant students in Europe. Intercultural Education25(5).

Engel, L. C., & Rutkowski, D. (2014). Global influences on national definitions of quality education: Examples from Spain and Italy. Policy Futures in Education.

Pizmony-Levy, O., Harvey, J., Schmidt, W., Noonan, R., Engel, L. C., Feuer, M. J., Braun, H., Cantorno, C., Rotberg, I., Ash, P., Chatterji, M., & Torney-Purta, J. (2014). On the merits of, and myths about International Assessments. Quality Assurance in Education22(4).

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 Education86(1), 123-140.

Engel, L. C., & Williams, J. (2013). (Eds.). The globalization of assessment: A forum on international tests of student performance [Special issue]. Research in Comparative and International Education8(3).

Williams, J., & Engel, L. C. (2013). Testing to rank, testing to learn, testing to improve: Introduction and overview. Research in Comparative and International Education8(3), 214-235.

Engel, L. C., Kington, A., & Mezclo, A. (2013). The influence of education on community cohesion: Adaptation of policy to practice. Journal of Educational Research106(5).

Rutkowski, L., Rutkowski, D., & Engel, L. C. (2013). Sharp contrasts at the boundaries: Violence and educational outcomes internationally. Comparative Education Review57(2), 232-259.

Williams, J., & Engel, L. C. (2012-2013). How the rest of the world evaluates teachers. Phi Delta Kappan94(4), 53-57.

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, England: 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.

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. Available online.

Ahlgren, L., & Engel, L. C. (2011). Lifelong learning through SMEs: Exploring workplace learning in the UK. Journal of Workplace Learning23(5), 331-348

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 Journal9(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 Policy30(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 Education7(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 Studies41(2), 179-198.

Engel, L. C. (2008). Globalization's strategic union: decentralization, efficiency, and the implications for educational governance in Spain. In R. K. Hopson, C. Yeakey Camp & F. M. Boakari (Eds.), Power, Voice, and the Public Good: Schooling and Education in Global Societies (pp. 391-417). Oxford: Elsevier.

Engel, L. C. (2008). Breaking the centre-periphery mould: Exploring globalisation and educational governance in Catalonia. Globalisation, Societies and Education6(3), 265-279.

Engel, L. C., & Rutkowski, D. (2008). Globalization and the Asia Pacific: An exploration of efficiency and equality aims of education. Critical Studies in Education49(2), 143-156.

Rizvi, F., Engel, L., Rutkowski, D., & Sparks, J. (2007). Equality and the politics of globalization in education. In G. K. Verma, C. R. Bagley & M. M. Jha (Eds.), International perspectives on educational diversity and inclusion: Studies from America, Europe and India (pp. 3-20). London, England: Routledge.

Engel, L. C. (2007). Rolling back, rolling out: Exceptionalism of the neo-liberal Spanish state. In M. Peters & T. McDonough (Eds.), International impact of neoliberal policies on education [Special issue]. Critical Studies in Education48(2), 213-227.

Engel, L. C. (2007). The impact of No Child Left Behind on native language instruction for Latina/o elementary students. In L. D. Soto (Ed.). Praeger Handbook of Latino Education in the U. S. Greenwood Press.

Engel, L. C. (2007). Policy as journey: Tracing the steps of a reinvented Spanish state. In C. McCarthy, A. S. Durham, L. C. Engel, A. Filmer, M. D. Giardina, & M. Malagreca (Eds.), Globalizing cultural studies: Ethnographic interventions in theory, method, and policy (pp. 385-406). New York: Peter Lang.

McCarthy, C., Durham, A. S., Engel, L. C., Filmer, A., Giardina, M. D., & Malagreca, M. (Eds.) (2007). Globalizing cultural studies: Ethnographic interventions in theory, method, and policy. New York: Peter Lang.

Rizvi, F., Engel, L., Rutkowski, D., & Sparks, J. (2006). Globalization and recent shifts in educational policy in the Asia Pacific: An overview of some critical issues. Bangkok, Thailand: UNESCO.

Garcia, G. E., Bray, T. M., Mora, R. A., Primeaux, J., Ricklefs, M. A., Engel, L. C., & Garley-Erb, K. (2006). Working with teachers to change the literacy instruction of Latino students in urban schools. National Reading Conference Journal Yearbook. University of Texas-Austin.