Ron Jacobson

jacobson_ronI serve as the Dean of the College of Education at Northwest University.  Prior to this post my main focus was teaching graduate students in our Masters in Teaching and Master of Education students.  I have been involved with mentoring college and university students since the early 1980s, working with Puget Sound Chi Alpha (reaching university students surrounding issues of faith, leadership and service) as well as Ivy Roads NW Student Mentoring (mentoring university students in areas of character development, leadership, and reflective community service).  Having received my doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Washington (Seattle), my research interests include teacher preparation, moral development, school bullying, classroom culture, relational pedagogies, and educational research (specifically incorporating conceptual research methodologies).  I live in the Seattle area with my wife, Michele (also an educator – teaching in an intermediate intensive support classroom).  We have two children, who both attended state universities (Religious Studies and European Studies), and both of whom are outstanding musicians.  My hobbies include woodworking, reading (especially in the areas of educational philosophy – Dewey, Gadamer, Foucault, Friere, etc.), listening to good music, and drinking good coffee (Seattle’s Best is best!).

Current Work

As Dean I oversee all aspects of our College of Education.  Over the years I have also served in a number of ways at NU:

  • Masters in Teaching – EDMA 5063 – Educational Research – in this course I worked with MIT students, helping them to broadly understand Educational Research Methodology aimed at producing an Action Research Proposal for their own original research to be carried out during their MIT experience.  This course is followed up by EDMA 5683 – Action Research – where MIT candidates, following their research proposal constructed in EDMA 5063, collect data and write their final research papers, culminating in presentations of their findings at the annual NU Graduate Education Research Conference in late July.
  • Professional Certification Professor and Administrator – I have also served as the administrator and chief teaching professor for NU’s state recognized ProCert Program.  This includes teaching NU’s ProCert Pre-Assessment Seminar (EDMA 5702), as well as the ProCert Culminating Seminar (EDMA 5782).
  • Master of Education – In addition I have taught several courses in NU’s MEd Program, including EDMA 5613 – Special Topics in Education and EDMA 5622 – School Bullying and Moral Development.
  • Candidate Intern Field Experience Director – I have also been responsible for setting up student teaching intern experiences for all of our grad. and undergrad. education degree candidates.  Part of this responsibility also involves, along with other NU faculty, supervising and evaluating student teachers.  I also coordinate NU’s partnership with the Bellevue School District (BSD), working with nearly 50 NU students who serve in BSD AVID classrooms.
  • Undergraduate Education – I have also served undergraduate education students through advising and teaching a number of courses, including EDUC 2012 – Schools and Society, EDUC 2011 – Schools and Society Lab, EDUC 4232 – Middle School Culture and Instruction.
  • College of Ministry – I have also crossed over and teach a bit in the NU College of Ministry, including courses in ministry and theological research methods, university culture, and university outreach.

Professional Development

My work includes the following involvements:

  • Dean, College of Education, Northwest University – here I help manage and support our undergrad and grad education programs, including faculty development, program evaluation and planning, state compliance, and P-12 partnership initiatives.
  • Associate Professor, College of Education, Northwest University – as mentioned, I have served as an Asst. Professor in the College of Education at Northwest University, mainly focused in graduate education (MIT/MEd Programs)
  • P-12 School Professional Development – I regularly present seminars to area students, faculty and administrators on the topics of school bullying prevention, moral development and school culture, and student identity construction within schools.
  • State of Washington Service – I currently serve on the Professional Education Standards Board (PESB), which is the policy board that oversees teacher preparation in Washington state.  In addition, I have served as a state program evaluation team chair, on the Standard 4 Indicator System workgroup, on the state Teacher Prep Institution Accreditation Committee, as a state ProTeach Portfolio Scorer, on the state Value-Added Task Force, and as part of the state P34 Conference planning committee.

Research and Scholarship

My main areas of research have focused on the intersection of educational practice and moral development.  Specifically I am interested in the shaping of student disposition and identity and how that process is impacted by the relational fabric of school and classroom culture.  My dissertation (2007 University of Washington), entitled:Understanding, Desire, and Narrated Subjectivity: A Philosophical Consideration of the Phenomenon of School Bullying, was based on a conceptual (educational philosophy) consideration of what a bully seeks to gain through the experience of bullying and, thus, how school culture might direct that quest.  Currently, I continue to work and study in the areas of school bullying, teacher development, educational philosophy, school culture as it relates to identity construction, and moral development.  These are the things that keep me up at night (or at least keep me drinking way too much coffee) as I work to better understand these processes in the lives of students and teachers in educational settings.


  • Jacobson, Ronald B. (2013).  Rethinking School Bullying: Dominance, Identity, and School Culture. Routledge.
  •          (2010). On Bull* and Bullying: Taking Seriously Those We EducateJournal of Moral Education 39 (4), 437-448.
  •          (2010). Public Spaces and Moral EducationThe Journal of Research in Character Education 7 (1), 63-76.
  •          (2010). Narrating Characters: The Making of a School BullyInterchange 41 (3), 255-283.
  •          (2010).  Moral Education and the Academics of Being Human Together.  Journal of ThoughtSpring/Summer, 43-53.
  •          (2009). A Place to Stand: Intersubjectivity and the Desire to DominateStudies in Philosophy and Education 29 (1), 35-51.
  •          (2007).  Understanding, Desire and Narrated Subjectivity: A Philosophical Consideration of the Phenomenon of School Bullying.  University of Washington.
  •          (2007).  School Bullying and Current Educational Practice: Re-Imagining Theories of Educational Transformation.  Teachers College Record 109 (8), 1931-1956.
  •          (2007).  A Lost Horizon: The Experience of an Other and School Bullying.  Studies in Philosophy and Education 26 (4), 297-317.
  •          (2005).  Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil: Education, Humiliation, and Learning to Be Together.  Journal of Thought 40 (2), 9-26.

I have also presented at a number of conferences (mainly surrounding the topic of school bullying) including:

  • Workshop Presentation at the Graduate Student Conference, Philosophy of Education Society.  Theory and Policy Studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto.  Toronto, Ontario.
  • Workshop Presentation at the Practitioners’ Conference on Civic Education (sponsored by the Centre for Policy and Practice).  New Orleans, LA.
  • Session Chair (March 2007).  Educating for Meaning in an Era of Banality, Philosophy of Education Society, Atlanta, GA.