David Backer

David I. Backer


After studying philosophy of mathematics and logic as an undergraduate, Dr. Backer taught high school for five years in Washington, DC and Quito, Ecuador. He completed his dissertation at Teachers College, Columbia University, focusing on ideology and classroom pedagogy. After a project reassessing Louis Althusser's theory of education and co-translating Enrique Dussel's Pedagogics of Liberation from Spanish to English, Dr. Backer's research now focuses on the ideology of school finance, with a focus on school facilities and climate change.

Area of Instruction

Dr. Backer teaches courses in social and ethical foundations of education, educational policy and politics, and education law in the Doctorate of Education in Policy, Planning and Administration, where he also advises doctoral student research. In addition, he teaches a finance course in the Transformative Principalship program.

Publications and Professional Activities

Dr. Backer’s research focuses generally on education and ideology. He is currently at work on an educational reading of Louis Althusser’s philosophy and its implications for school policy and practice. His research has appeared or will be published in Harvard Educational Review, Educational Theory, Democracy & Education, Hybrid Pedagogy, and Issues in Teacher Education. Backer has also written on education and politics for general audiences in Jacobin.

Backer, D. I. (2022). Toxic finance. Dissent Magazine, online: https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/toxic-finance

Backer, D. I., & Cairns, K. (2021). Social reproduction theory revisited. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 42(7), 1086-1104.

Backer, D. (2020). School funding inequality in Pennsylvania: A base-superstructure analysis. Pennsylvania Educational Leadership Journal, 39(2), 35-61.

Dussel, E. (2019). The Pedagogics of Liberation: A Latin American Philosophy of Education. Trans. Backer, D. I. & Diego, C. punctum books.

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