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Thomas Mauhs-Pugh Ph.D.

Professor of Education

Dunton Hall 115A
One Brennan Circle
Poultney, VT 05764-1199
Email Address:
(802) 287-8392; Fax: (802) 287-8080

"Education at all levels needs to engage people where they are, expand the possibilities of who they might be, and challenge them to reflect and act on what they come to know."

Dr. Mauhs-Pugh specializes in the history and philosophy of education. Trained in the cultural foundations of education at Syracuse University, he draws from a broad mix of social and political theory, analytical philosophy, and American history. His research emphasizes the history of educational policy within the context of an evolving, liberal, democratic society. Of particular interest is the central position education holds in developing and maintaining a civil society and the tension between the administrative requirements of managing an educational system and the goals of that system.

As dean, Dr. Mauhs-Pugh teaches one course per year, either philosophy of education or history of education. Previously, he taught a range of courses within the education department and supervised student teachers. A co-creator of the interdisciplinary Fifteen-credit block course, Professor Mauhs-Pugh Team Taught. The Northern Forest, The Adirondacks, and The six credit courses: Renewing Civil Society: Social and Political Philosophy and Democratic Education. He believes that students are capable of more substantial work than they are often given. One course in the Policy and Politics of Education became a research and writing seminar which resulted in the publication of "Charter Schools 1995: A Survey and Analysis of the Laws and Practices of the States," Educational Policy Analysis Archives (


Dr. Mauhs-Pugh also regularly contributed to the Environmental Liberal Arts program, teaching such courses as Images of Nature, A Delicate Balance, and Simplicity and Sustainability.

Ph.D. History and Philosophy of Education, Syracuse University. 1994. Degree awarded with distinction.
Dissertation: Rural School Consolidation in New York State, 1795-1993
Committee: John W. Briggs, Gerald P. Grant, Ralph Ketcham, Emily Robertson
M.A.T. English, Brown University. 1984
B.A. English, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. 1983

Courses Taught
Education: Foundations of Education, Nature and Aims of Education, Democratic Education, Policy and Politics of American Education, Curriculum: Politics and History, Teacher As Decision Maker, Curriculum and Methods Secondary, Teaching Writing and Grammar, Reading and Writing in the Content Area, Student Teacher Supervision, and Student Teaching Seminar.

Environmental Liberal Arts: College English, Images of Nature, Environmental Ethics, Simplicity and Sustainability, A Delicate Balance, American Views of the Environment, Voices of Community: A Writing Seminar.


Dr. Mauhs-Pugh taught English in grades 6-12 in New Hampshire and Vermont for five years.

Research Interests

  • Developing a defense of public schooling in light of its mission to provide a secular, democratic education.

  • Producing a comprehensive history of schooling in New York State.

  • Strengthening the role of historical research and philosophical analysis in educational practice and policy debates.

Selected Papers
Civic Education and K-12 School Choice -- Presented at the International Conference on Civic Education Research November 16-18, 2003 New Orleans

Education for Sustainable Communities and Democratic Structures in a Market

12,000 Little Republics: Civic Apprenticeship and the Cult of Efficiency

Selected Publications
"12,000 Little Republics, Civic Apprenticeship and the Cult of Efficiency," New York History, Summer 2005, Vol. 86, no. 3, pp. 251-288.

"Rural Education," in The Encyclopedia of New York State. Peter Eisenstadt, ed. Syracuse University Press, 2005.

"Compulsory Education," in The Encyclopedia of New York State. Peter Eisenstadt, ed. Syracuse University Press, 2005.

"Andrew Sloan Draper," in The Encyclopedia of New York State. Peter Eisenstadt, ed. Syracuse University Press, 2005.

"Developing the Good Person: The Role of Local Publics," chapter 3 in Educating Tomorrow's Valuable Citizens. Joan M. Burstyn, ed. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1996.

Selected Presentations
"Placing Sustainability at the Center of General Education," Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, 2006

"Civic Education and K-12 School Choice", at the International Conference on Civic Education, New Orleans, 2003

"The Northern Forest: Public Policy and the Education of Citizens" at the Tenth International Conference of the Society for Human Ecology in Montreal, Canada, May 1999.

Activities and Awards

  • Davis Educational Foundation Grant, 2008 - 2011, "Assessing the Environmental Liberal Arts Program." $248,000

  • Exemplary Teaching Award, Green Mountain College, 2003.

  • Editorial Board member and reviewer for Educational Policy Analysis Archives, 1993 - present.

  • Davis Educational Foundation grant, 1998, "Education for Citizenship: Bringing Northern New England Into the Classroom and the Classroom Into Northern New England."

  • Larry J. Hackman Research Residency at the New York State Archives, 1996.

  • Syracuse University Graduate School Doctoral Prize, 1995.

  • Syracuse University Fellow, 1989-1992.


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