Mary Poplin is a professor in the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University. Her work spans K–12 to higher education. Poplin, who began her career as a public school teacher, conducts research largely inside schools and classrooms and more recently on highly effective teachers in urban poor schools.
Funded by the John and Dora Haynes Foundation, she and eight colleagues conducted extensive research from 2005 to 2009 with 30 highly effective teachers in nine low performing urban K–12 schools in Los Angeles County. Her prior work included a study of Voices Inside the Classroom, funded by the John Kluge Foundation.
In 1996, Poplin worked for two months with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta to understand why she said their work was “religious work and not social work.” Her book on this experience, Finding Calcutta, was published by InterVarsity Press in 2008 and is also available in Korean and Chinese.
Poplin’s work in higher education has included administration. At various times, she has served as dean and as director of teacher education. Academically, she explores the contemporary intellectual trends dominant in the various academic disciplines: the sciences, humanities, and social sciences. In 2014, she published Is Reality Secular? Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews (InterVarsity Press). In this book, Poplin examines four major worldviews—naturalism, humanism, pantheism, and Judeo-Christian theism—and explores their implications for human behavior and the evidence for their truth. She is a frequent speaker in Veritas Forums throughout the country.
Is Reality Secular? Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2014.
Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me about Meaningful Work and Service. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2008.
“A Radical Call to Service: The Five Tasks.” In Gladly Learn, Gladly Teach: Living Out One’s Calling in the Twenty-First Century Academy, edited by John M. Dunaway. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 2005.
Co-authored with John Riviera. “Merging Social Justice and Accountability: Educating Highly Qualified, Responsible and Effective Teachers.” Theory Into Practice 44, no. 1 (2005): 27–37.
Co-authored with Sharon M. Rogers. “Recollections, Apologies and Possibilities.” Learning Disability Quarterly 25, no. 2 (2005): 159–62.
From Behaviorism to Postmodernism: Learning & Pedagogical Theories
Qualitative Inquiry: Theory, Models & Methods
Research on School Capacity Building & Effective Schools
Topics in Teacher Education
K–16 Literacy: Language, Culture, & Achievement
Exploring Judeo-Christian Knowledge Across the Disciplines