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Dr. Gail L. Boldt headshot

Dr. Gail L. Boldt

Professor of Education (LLED) & Women's Studies

Phone: 814-865-0655

164B Chambers Building
University Park, PA 16802

Department(s)

  • Curriculum and Instruction

Program(s)

  • Literacies and English Language

Biography

Dr. Boldt is a Professor teaching graduate seminars in theory and philosophy as they relate to contemporary issues in education. At the undergraduate level, she works in the Elementary and Early Childhood program, teaching literacy methods classes for pre-k - 4th grade pre-service teachers. She is an affiliated faculty member in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Dr. Boldt is the editor-in-chief of the Bank Street Occasional Paper Series. She is also a psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapist doing play therapy with children in a community mental health setting. For the past ten years, Dr. Boldt has led a campus reading group with faculty and graduate students from across the campus reading Deleuzo-Guattarian, post-human, and new feminist materialist theories. 

Dr. Boldt defines herself as a curriculum theorist with interests in literacies, elementary and early childhood education, identity (including gender, sexuality, class, and race) and post-identity, childhood studies, cultural studies, and disability studies. She works primarily with narrative research, drawing analytic lenses from Deleuzo-Guattarian, post-structural, and psychoanalytic theories. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Hawai’i in Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies, where her advisor was the educational anthropologist Joseph Tobin. Her cognate study was in cultural studies with particular emphasis on post-colonial and feminist work. In literacy, she worked with Diane Stephens. Prior to her Ph.D., she was an elementary school teacher in Honolulu. She has her teaching certification from Mills College in Oakland, California, as well as a M.T.S. from the Divinity School at Harvard University and an M.Ed in Counseling from Penn State.

Before coming to Penn State, Dr. Boldt  was an assistant and associate professor in the Language, Literacy and Culture Program at the University of Iowa. She spent a year as a visiting scholar at the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute and completed a post-graduate program at the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis called New Directions in Psychoanalytic Thinking. She has worked in the infant and young child program at the Washington School for Psychiatry and was a research fellow at the Anna Freud Center at the Yale Child Study Center. She is a Fellow in the College of Research Fellows of the American Psychoanalytic Association. 

Dr. Boldt's current research draws from her clinical psychotherapy work and combines Deleuzo-Guattarian theory with contemporary relational psychoanalysis to theorize how learning and change occur through affective experiences that do not privilege speech or even conscious awareness. She uses this to theorize ways to think about and work with the affective worlds of children and teachers in schools. Dr. Boldt writes collaboratively with Kevin Leander (Vanderbilt University) to consider school literacies from a Deleuzo-Guattarian perspective. She also collaborates with Joe Valente (Penn State University) to research models of inclusive early childhood education in French preschools that look to Guattari’s work with schizoanalysis as a model of practice. She is the editor of the Oxford University bibliography of psychoanalysis in childhood studies. 

Areas of Expertise

Age Levels

Childhood
Early Childhood

Learning

Curriculum
Equity and Diversity
Media Literacy/Education

Curriculum Areas

Curriculum Issues
Language, Culture, and Society Ed

Education Levels

Early Childhood Ed
Primary/Elementary

Education Types

Public Ed

Educational Studies

Critical & Feminist Theory
Cultural Studies
Educational Theory
Media Studies

Individual Difference

Emotion
Gender
Identity
Learning Processes
Motivation
Sexual Orientation
Stress/Coping

Methodological Research

Qualitative Research

Social Issues

Discrimination
Race and Ethnicity

Teacher Preparation

Pre-service Teachers
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