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Heidi A Ross

Professor and Director, East Asian Studies Center; adjunct, East Asian Languages and Cultures
W.W. Wright Education Building Room EDU4238
Phone : (812) 856-8389
Fax: (812) 856-8394
Send me an e-mail
Department:  Education Leadership and Policy Studies
Affiliations:  Education Policy Studies, History, Philosophy & Comparative Education
My website:  http://www.indiana.edu/~harweb/
Vita:  Click to View
About Me | Degrees | Teaching | Publications | Presentations | Grant Funding | Associations | Awards


Heidi Ross teaches social foundations and comparative and international education courses in the Educational Policy Studies program.  Her primary interests include education and schooling in China, and she is director of Indiana University's East Asian Studies Center.

Ross has investigated gender socialization, secondary schooling, and environmental education in Chinese schools and the difficulties faced by faculty at China’s private colleges and universities as China experiences an unprecedented demand for higher education.  Most recently, Ross has been involved in two longer-term field based projects.  One is a longitudinal study of girls' educational access and expectations in rural China.  The second is a collaborative project with other IU and Chinese colleagues, “Developing National Student Engagement Surveys for Chinese Secondary and Higher Education: Effective Practice for an Era of Mass Schooling.” The project includes implementation of IU-developed surveys that measure student engagement in China's diverse institutions of higher education.

Ross collaborates with  many graduate students and regularly co-presents and co-authors conference papers and articles with them. Ross has also partnered with the University of Illinois to establish the IL/IN East Asian Education Network Dissertation Workshop. The two schools have co-hosted five workshops, giving doctoral students from other universities the chance to present their research and to get feedback and support.

“The longer I’m in academe the more I’ve felt that living as a scholar, teacher, and occasional administrator demands vigilance about the ends of education, to understand what is crucial to our work—and what we are willing to give up,” says Ross. “I realize the two things I can’t give up are collaboration and inter-disciplinary research. Both are crucial to my health as a scholar and human being. Trying to redress problems collaboratively, comparatively, and globally—well, that is a kind of hope in the possibility of taking a journey of solidarity.”



PhD Educational Foundations, Policy and Administration, July 1987, University of Michigan

MA Education, Applied Linguistics, December 1978, University of Michigan


  • Ross, H. 2010. “Seeking the Ends of Education from the Best of Both Worlds: Transnational Dialogue on Knowledge, Discipline and Creativity,” to be included in Vilma Seeburg, (ED)Chinese Education for All.
  • Luo Y, Ross, H. and Cen, YH. 2009. “Viewing the Development of the NSSE-China Survey Tool from an International Comparative Perspective: Cultural Adaption and Reliability” [guoji bijiao shiye zhong de gaodeng jiaoyu celiang NSSE-China gongju de kaifa wenhua shiying yu xinxiaodu baogao] Tsinghua Journal of Education.
  • Ross, H. and Jingjing Lou. 2009. Education in Rural Areas. Encyclopedia of Modern China. Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 473-476.
  • Ross, H. and Cen, Yuhao. 2009. St. John’s University. Berkshire Encyclopedia of China. Berkshire Publishing Group, 2093-2095.

  • Ross, H. and Cen, Yuhao. 2009. Fudan University. Berkshire Encyclopedia of China. Berkshire Publishing Group, 876-877.
  • Heidi Ross and Yuhao Cen, (Co-editors) "Chinese Higher Education Assessment and Evaluation" Chinese Education and Society (November and December) 42.1, 3-7  and whole special issue.
  • Tom Gieryn, David Hakken and Heidi Ross. 2008 "Cross-cultural Challenge in THinking about Innovation and Creativity." Georgia Tech Conference on Challenges and Opportunities for Innvation in the Changing Global Economy.
  • Ross, H. and Lou, J. 2008 “Pathways to Peace: Imag(in)ing the Voices of Chinese and American Middle School Students” in Jing Lin and D. Christa Bruhn (EDS) Educators as Peace Makers: Transforming Education for Global Peace (New York: Teachers College Press), 3-21.
  • Ross, H., Lou, J.J. and Wang, L. 2008. “Keeping the Promise: Lessons from the 1990 Institute Spring Bud Project” 1990 Institute Newsletter, 3, 8-11.
  • Ross, H. and L. Wang. 2008. “Educating Girls as Community Leaders: Contradictions in one Spring Bud Project in Rural Shaanxi, China” Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 1:1, 81-113.
  • Heidi Ross, Yan Luo and Yuhao Cen. 2008. "A Comparison of Educational Quality: Student Engagement in U.S. and China." [tsinghua daxue he meiguo daxue zai xuexi guocheng zhibiao shang de bijiao: yi zhong gaodeng jiaoyu zhiliang guan] Tsinghua Journal of Education. 2, 36-42.
  • Jingjing Lou and Heidi Ross (Co-editors) "The Road to Free Compulsory Education in China: Policy Formation and Implementation." Chinese Education and Society. (January-February) 41:1.
  • Ross, H, Lou, Jingjing, Wang, Lei, Zhang, Ran and Cen, Yuhao. 2007. “Childhood—China.” In Irving Epstein (Ed) The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Children's Issues Worldwide, 99-122.
  • Ross, H. 2007. review of Limin Bai, Shaping the Ideal Child, Children and Their Primers in Late Imperial China. (The Chinese University Press) The American Historical Review. (October) 112:4, 1148-1149.
  • Ross, H. 2007. “Policy as Practice, Agency as Voice, Research as Intervention: Imag(in)g Girls' Education in China” in Mary Ann Maslak, (Ed.) The Agency and Structure of Female Education (SUNY Press), 233-252.
  • Ross, H. 2007. “Generally Educated Teachers: Engaging the Friction between Local and Global Knowledge in Bjork, et al (Eds) Taking Teachers Seriously: What we can learn from Educators at Liberal Arts Institutions.(Paradigm Press), pp. 132-148.
  • Bjork, Christopher, D. Kay Johnston, and Heidi Ross (Eds) 2007. Taking Teachers Seriously: What we can learn from Educators at Liberal Arts Institutions(Paradigm Press).
  • Seeberg, V & Ross, H., Tan, G. and Liu, J. 2007. "The Case for Prioritizing Education For Girls Left Behind In Remote Rural China." In David Baker and Alexander Wiseman, (EDS) International Perspectives on Education and Society, Volume 8,Education for All: Global Promises, National Challenges, (Oxford: Elsevier Science Ltd)Vol. 8, 111-158.
  • Ross, H. and Wang, L. 2006. “A Report on the ‘Girls’ Middle School Principals’ Survey.’” Tao Xing Zhi Research Group, Beijing, September.
  • Ross, H. 2006. “Schools and Gender Stratification: The State, NGO’s and Transnational Alliances” in Gerry Postiglione (Ed.) Education, Social Change, and Stratification in China, Inequality in a Market Economy. Armonk, NY: M.E.Sharpe, pp 25-50.
  • Ross, H. 2006. “Girls’ Education Discourse and Practice in China: Conceptualizing the Sources and Outcomes of Reform,” (in Chinese) Soong Qing Ling Foundation and the Ministry of Education, Beijing, 56-83.
  • Ross, H. and Jing Lin. 2006. “Social Capital Formation through Chinese School Communities" in Emily Hannum and Bruce Fuller, Eds., Children’s Lives and Schooling Across Societies, Research in the Sociology of Education Vol. 15, Elsevier, Ltd., pp 43-69.
  • Zhang, Ran and H. Ross 2006, (guest editors) “The Changing Landscape of Rule of Law and Students’ Rights in China (II)” Chinese Education and Society. (July-August) 39:4.
  • Ross, H. 2006. “The Girls ‘Left Behind.’” Guanxi, the China Letter. (June) 1:1, 1, 8-11.
  • Ross, H. 2006. “The Pathways to Peace Project: “Visual Voices” from Xi He Middle School.” 1990 Institute Newsletter, 17:1, 5, 8-9, 14-15.
  • Ross, H. and R. Zhang. 2006, (guest editors) “The Changing Landscape of Rule of Law and Students’ Rights in China,” Chinese Education and Society, (May-June) 39:3.
  • Ross, H. and Ran Zhang. 2006. “The Changing Landscape of Rule of Law and Students’ Rights in China,Introduction.” Chinese Education and Society (May-June) 39:3, 3-9.
  • Ross, H. and Jing Lin. 2005. “Social Capital Formation through Chinese School Communities" in Emily Hannum and Bruce Fuller, Eds., Research in the Sociology of Education, Children’s Lives and Schooling Across Diverse Societies Vol. 15.
  • Ross, H. with contributions by Jingjing Lou, Lijing Yang, Olga Rybakova, and Phoebe Wakhunga. 2005. “Where and Who are the World’s Illiterates: China.” A Background Paper Submitted to UNESCO Global Monitoring Report. See: http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/ev.php- URL_ID=43542&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html
  • Carnoy, Martin, David Post, Erwin Epstein, Heidi Ross, Clementina Acedo, Lesley Bartlett, Patrick McEwan, Suet-ling Pong, Robert Arnove. 2005. “Benefits of Education for Dominicans of Haitian Origins: A Review of the Evidence.” Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights and Original Petitioners in Yean and Bosico v. Dominican Republic.
  • Ross, H. 2005. review of Ka-Ho Mok, ed. Centralization and Decentralization, Educational Reforms and Changing Governance in Chinese Societies. (Hong Kong: Comparative Education Research Centre, The University of Hong Kong, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003) for Comparative Education Review, 49:2, 289-292.
  • Lin, J. and H. Ross, 2005. “Addressing Urgent Needs: The Emergence of Environmental Education in China,” China Environment Series Issue #7, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, D.C. pp. 74-78.
  • Ross, H. and Jingjing, Lou, 2005. “Glocalizing Chinese Higher Education: Groping for Stones to Cross the River.” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies. (Winter) 12:1, 227-250.
  • Lin, J. and H. Ross, 2004. “Guest Editors’ Introduction” Chinese Education and Society (July-Agust) 37:4, pp. 5-10.
  • Lin, J. and H. Ross. 2004. “Context and History of the Rise of Environmental Education in China and the ‘Green Schools:’ an Introduction.” Chinese Education and Society.(May-June) 37:3, pp. 3-9.
  • Lin, Jing and H. Ross 2004., (guest editors). "Environmental Education in China, Part I: "Environmental Crises, Governmental Policies, and 'Green Schools' in China." Chinese Education and Society (May/June) 37:3.
  • Ross, H. 2004.“Foreword” to Shi Jinghuan (Ed.) Zoujin jiaocai yu jiaoxue de xingbie shijie, [Entering the Gendered World of Textbooks and Teaching] Beijing: Education Research Publishing, i-v.
  • Zhou Minglang and Ross, H. 2004. “The Context of the Theory and Practice of China’s Language Policy,” in Zhou Minglang (ed) Language Policy in the People’s Republic of China, Theory and practice since 1949. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Press, pp. 1-18.

  • H. Ross.  The 3-E's Challenge for Spring Bud Girs: Education, Expectations, and Empowerment." Keynote address for 1990 Institute, San Francisco.
  • H. Ross. Indiana University East Asian Studies and Indiana-China Principals' Shadowing Program." Indiana Association of Public School Principals.
  • H. Ross. Globalization--Teacher Education. invited speaker and workshop participant, Globalizing Pre-service Teacher Education Workshop, University of IL Urbana-Champaign.
  • H. Ross. Student Engagement in Chinese Higher Education, Comparative Data. International Symposium on Assessment and Evaluation in Chinese Higher Education, Tsinghua University, Beijing.
  • H. Ross. "Helping the World's Endangered Children." Meadowwood Great Decision Series.
  • H. Ross. Educational Globalization Trends in China. invited talk NAFSA annual conference, Washington, D.C.
  • H. Ross.  Chair and Discussant.  Challenges to Civic Responsibility and Community Engagement for Rural and Minority Secondary School Students and their Schools in China." Association of Asian Studies annual meeting.
  • H. Ross Chinese Education in a Global Age. Invited keynote for the National Committee on U.S. China Relations, National Seminar, Richmond, IN.
  • Seeking Confucius in 21st Century Chinese Education" Keynote at opening of the Confucius Institute Indianapolis.
  • H. Ross and L. Wang. 2008. "Challenges of Leadership Training in Girls, Education, and Development Programs." annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society, New York City.
  • H. Ross, "Student Engagement and E(quality) Education in Chiense Higher Education." annual conference of Comparative and International Education Society. March, New York City.  (chair of panel and persentation with research collaborators, Yuhao Cen and Yan Luo)
  • H. Ross. "NSSE in China: Assessing Quality Education from the Student Perspective." annual meeting of the Comparative and International education Society. New York City.
  • H. Ross, Chair and Discussant. Gender and Peace Education. annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society, New York City.
  • J. Lou and Heidi Ross. Chinese and American students Learning about Each Other. annual meeting of AERA.
  • H. Ross Chair and Discussant. Challenges to Civic Responsibility for Secondary School Students and their Schools in Northwestern China. AERA.
  • H. Ross. 2008 Complementarity in Chinese and U.S. educational Systems." Presentation to Freeman Foundation Indiana-China School Partnership Initiative Workshop, Bloomington, IN, January 13.

  • NSSE-China Survey Distribution and Data Upload, a New Approach to Quality Assurance and Evaluation - This grant is being run through Tsinghua University.  I am a co-PI with lead Professor Jinghuan Shi.  The grant runs to 2012.
  • Educating about East Asia across the Curriculum - This Freeman Undergraduate Initiative Grant is to improve teaching and learning about EA across the Bloomington Campus. It directly supports some School of Education programs, such as the creation of a Japan site for Laura Stachowski's Cultural Immersions Projects. It is also helping to support a China/Japan East Asian education policy reform course I am co-teaching with Dick Rubinger in EALC this spring 2009.  The grant, with an indirect of 10% is administered through OVPR.  We are seeding a faculty in Chinese language and awarding curriculum development grants across campus.  SoE faculty are also eligible to apply.  I wrote the grant narrative.  The total grant amount is actually 600,000.00.  I succeeded in getting 200,000 of commitments from across IUB campus, which was one of the conditions for the success of the proposal.
  • National Consortium for Teaching about Asia - This grant has a 10% indirect that goes to OVPR.  The National Consortium for Teaching about Asia is the nations most important outreach program for school teachers for educating about Asia.  Indiana is one of 7 national sites for administration of the program.  I took the lead in writing the narrative for the grant for all institutions.  The entire amount of approximately 10 million dollars is spread across our 7 + affiliated institutions.  See www.indiana.edu/~easc/outreach for more information.

  • Office of Women's Affairs Mentor, Faculty Advancement Program
  • Co-director, Australian National University-Indiana University Pan Asian Studies Institute - develop collaborative research, teaching, and outreach programs
  • Continue as Co-editor of Comparative Education Review - Co-editor of field's most prestigious journal--review journal manuscripts, select future special issue topics, scholarly directions
  • Continue to serve on Chinese Education and Society, editorial advisory committee member, 2003- - advise future direction of journal, special issues
  • Continue to serve for Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong and McGill universities, external examiner for doctoral dissertations - read and evaluate doctoral dissertations on Chinese education and society, gender, comparative education
  • Continue to serve as Journal of Chinas Education: Research and Review, editorial advisory board member, 2001- - review manuscripts, discuss journal content and future directions
  • Continue to serve NGO 1990 Institute, education advisor/monitor for Chinese secondary schooling - advise NGO on "Dragon Fund" Shaanxi Project Girls' Educational Access Project, monitor student experiences
  • Continue to serve as Manuscript Reviewer for Hong Kong University Press, Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, The U of Michigan Press, Yale Univ Press, The University of Washington--as well as the journals Comp Edu Review etc - review manuscripts in the areas of contemporary China, Chinese education, China and gender issues, English language teaching in China/Hong Kong
  • Continue to review proposal manuscripts for The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada major grant competition - annual review of proposals submitted in the category of Chinese studies, East Asian education
  • Continue as Research Grants Council of Hong Kong reviewer - rank social sciences/education/East Asian studies research grants
  • Continue to serve as a member to the IUB Global Studies Ph.D Minor Advisory Committee - oversee new minor in global studies, Center for Global Change
  • Continue to serve on East Asian Studies Center Executive Committee - elected representative with two other EASC faculty to committee that advises center on academic programing, scholarships, fund raising, outreach -- spent considerable time over the last year helping to write the EASC Title 6 application submitted this fall
  • Continue to serve on Office of International Programs Advisory Committee on International Exchanges and Contracts - review proposals/China related initiatives
  • Continue to serve on President’s Council on International Programs - represent SoE international initiatives
  • Continue to serve as member of IUB Center for Global Change Advisory Board - meetings to discuss direction of the center, evaluate programmatic and academic initiatives
  • Appointed Director of IU East Asian Studies Center, Title VI National Resource Center, 2006-2010 - direct national resource center and manage staff/collaborate with faculty at IU and UIUC to support outreach, teaching, and research on East Asia
  • Continue to serve as Encyclopedia of China, Berkshire Publishing, editorial advisory board member - review chapters, select authors
  • Continued: Hong Kong University Press Series, Education in China: Reform and Diversity, editorial board member, 2005- - review manuscripts; suggest authors
  • 2006-2009 Dept of EALC Advisory Committee - planning present programs and future direction/hiring of East Asian Languages and Cultures Department
  • Committee on East Asian Contracts & Exchanges, Chair - The work of the committee consists of selecting the IU nominees for the Short Term Faculty Exchange and Graduate Student Exchange Programs in East Asia. The Office of International Programs also turns to the committee for input on ad hoc questions regarding international affiliations in East Asia.
  • IUB Science and Technology in the Pacific Century Steering Committee - planning and execution of 4-year initiativea four-year cross-campus initiative to stimulate academic analysis of the accelerating shift of basic research in fields of science and technology to East Asian countries. The first year of the program, 2006-07, has been devoted to conceptual issues and project organization. The second year will focus on faculty seminars at Indiana and Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) organized around specific topics, networking nationally with academics and others whose research or involvement links them to these issues, and, through the agency of IU East Asianists and scientist-alumni working in East Asia, establishing contacts with relevant deans and directors of units in East Asian universities, to establish a flow of shared information concerning institutional goals, research development, and graduate training. This will lay the groundwork for a national conference in 2008-09, which will both explore topical issues in panels, and address the issue of how research on this array of questions can best be pursued through funding initiatives, individual research agendas, joint projects, publications outlets, and academic programs. Conference panels will bring together IL/IN STIP faculty and academics from other institutions, as well as academic representatives of leading East Asian universities, individuals from government agencies such as NSF, and members of professional and consultant organizations that have relevant expertise.
  • member of School of Education International Programs Committee - monthly meetings, scholarship, research and program development for School on international matters
  • faculty member of IU University Tenure Advisory Committee - review tenure cases at the university-wide level
  • member IU International Affiliations Committee - review proposals from throughout IU for new institutional partnerships with programs and/or institutions abroad
  • IUPUI Confucius Institute of Indianapolis Advisory Board - advise on all matters related to Confucius Institute (for Chinese language education and cultural programs)
  • IUB Bureau of Social Science Research Executive Advisory Board member - advise Bureau of SS Research and represent SoE interests on Board
  • Board Member, Comparative and International Education Society - advise society on all aspects of the organization
  • Global Indiana Executive Board member - officer for State-wide international educational exchange organization
  • Girlhood Studies, An Interdisciplinary Journal, Berghahn group, editorial board member - advise journal editors on content, special issues, policy
  • IU Institute of Advanced Studies Board of Directors member - programming, future planning
  • I reviewed numerous tenure files for colleagues in other institutions, as well as manuscripts for publication (beyond the 100+ I look at for Comp Ed Review).  - I'm afraid I have not kept track of all these manuscripts and reviews, but some are Nelly Stromquist who has been full professor for years at USC but moved to U of MD.  Also a review of June Gordon (Santa Cruz) for full professor, of Fran Vavrus as she moved from Columbia Teachers College to Minnesota with Full and Leslie Bartlett for full at Columbia Teachers College.  These are all comparative ed and EA studies related.
  • Overseas Study Advisory Council member - review all programs involving students in overseas study
  • directed an organized external review of EASC - From 2007 to end of 2008 I have organized an external review of EASC.  I wrote the self-study, organized the external review, followed up with a strategic plan, which is now being deliberated by OVPR and the College.  This next year we will be trying to implement the result of the review.  This has taken great time and care politically, as EASC may be transfered back to the College.
  • Education for Global Citizenship Initiative member - plan, organize, and provide funding for initiative for developing global citizenship curricula and programs throughout university
  • SoE Jepsen Scholars Committee - Select recipients of fellowships for Cultural Immersions students
  • Continue as Chair, World Council of Education Research Committee, umbrella organization for world comparative education societies--partner with UNESCO - planned triennial conference program by setting themes for conference, vetted papers for this Sept 2007 meeting in Sarajevo
  • member of Language Education Department search committee, ESL/literacy position, chair, Martha Nyikos (2007-2008) - review and rank candidates for interview

  • Editorial Advisory Board member, Comparative Education Review - Term 2003-2008 to review State of the field, journal policy and practices, content
  • Co-editor, Comparative Education Review - I along with co-editors David Post (Penn State), Mark Ginsburg (AED), and Emily Hannum (U of Penn) have been named co-editors for the next five years for Comparative Education Review.  This was a highly competitive process and I am honored to be a part of this team of scholars.
  • Executive Board Member, World Council of Comparative Education Societies - Oversee and make decisions of policy for World Council of Comparative Education Societies
  • Research Chair, World Council of Comparative Education Societies - Plan Triennial International Conference Research Program and Select Sub-chairs for 14 Research Groups
  • Chinese Education and Society, editorial advisory committee member - advise on editorial policy and future trends in the field
  • Editorial Advisory Board Member of Journal of China's Education - Advise on editorial policy and future directions of Journal of Chinas Education: Research and Review
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