Skip to main content

Amato Nocera

Assistant Professor

602F Poe Hall

View CV 


Amato Nocera is an assistant professor of Educational Equity in the department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences at North Carolina State University. He is a historian of education whose work explores approaches to liberatory pedagogy and the role of education in social and radical movements throughout the twentieth century. Dr. Nocera’s work has been featured in prominent journals, including Teachers College Record, History of Education Quarterly, and Education Policy Analysis Archives. His interest in educational research began working at the Spencer Foundation. He earned a Ph.D. in history of education from UW-Madison’s Department of Educational Policy Studies. Dr. Nocera is currently working on his first book, titled Constructing a Black Curriculum: Race, Representation, and the Politics of Knowledge, 1890-1945.

Selected Scholarly Publications

  • Nocera, A. (accepted). “May we not write our own fairy tales and make black beautiful?”: African American teachers, children’s literature, and the construction of race in the curriculum, 1925-1945. History of Educational Quarterly.
  • Jiang, S., Nocera, A., Tatar, C., Chao, J., Finzer, W., Rose, C. (accepted). “Machine learns patterns in data”: An empirical analysis of students’ modeling unstructured data. Learning, Media, and Technology.
  • Nocera, A. (2020). “More than equivalent to a year of college”: Hubert Harrison and informal education in Harlem’s New Negro movement. Teachers College Record, 122(3).
  • Nocera, A. (2018). Negotiating the aims of African American adult education: Race and liberalism in the Harlem Experiment, 1931-1935. History of Education Quarterly, 58(1), 1-32.
  • Graue, B., Wilinski, B. & Nocera, A. (2016). Local control in the era of accountability: A case study of Wisconsin preK. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 24(60), 1-26.
  • Nocera, A. (2014). Teaching controversy in moral education: A critique of the epistemic criterion. In C. Mayo (ed.), Philosophy of Education Society Yearbook 2013 (pp. 67-75). Urbana: Philosophy of Education Society.

Courses Taught

  • ED 755   Scholar Leader: Diversity and Equity in Schools and Communities
  • ECI 709 Educational Equity: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
  • ECI 204 Introduction to Teaching
  • ECI 296 History of American Education

Area(s) of Expertise

Using historical methods, my research looks at three broad questions: 1. What role does education play in movements for racial justice? 2. How have activists, reformers, and teachers historically tried to support the curricular needs of students of color? 3. How do social ideologies (e.g. liberalism) shape the way race is represented and taught in schools? These questions have led me to investigate the relationship between racial ideology and public school curricula. I have also written scholarly articles on the historical role of white philanthropy in African-American education and the influence of education within social movements.