Assistant Professor of Education and of Labor and Employment Relations, Pennsylvania State University

Rebecca Tarlau is an Assistant Professor of Education and Labor and Employment Relations at the Pennsylvania State University, affiliated with the Lifelong Learning and Adult Education Program, the Comparative and International Education program, and the Center for Global Workers’ Rights. She has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Berkeley (2014) and was a Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford University (2015-2017). Her ethnographic research agenda has three broad areas of focus: (1) Theories of the state and state-society relations; (2) Social movements, critical pedagogy, and learning; (3) Latin American education and development. Her forthcoming book, Occupying Schools, Occupying Land: How the Landless Workers Movement Transformed Brazilian Education (Oxford University Press) examines the educational initiatives of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST), a national social movement of rural workers struggling for agrarian reform. This research explores the movement’s attempt to transform education across the country, focusing on the micro-politics of grassroots educational reform: the strategies activists use to convince state actors to adopt their initiatives and the political and economic conditions that affect state-society interactions concerning schools. Her current research examines teacher union organizing in Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. Her scholarship engages in debates in the fields of political sociology, international and comparative education, adult education, critical pedagogy, global and transnational sociology, and social theory.

Experience

  • –present
    Assistant Professor of Education and Labor Studies, Pennsylvania State University

Education

  • 2014 
    University of California, Berkleey, Education, Ph.D.