Prior to joining Erikson, Mark Nagasawa held a postdoctoral position at Arizona State University coordinating a statewide, five-year, mixed method evaluation of Arizona’s efforts to develop a more coherent heath and child development system of services for young children and their families.

His broad research interests focus on:

  • policy making as a cultural practice of power and how policies affect the lives of children, parents, and professionals – especially how public policies do and do not address longstanding social inequalities and injustices
  • professional socialization and development
  • professional-parent/guardian relationships

His current scholarly work is focusing on interrogating prevailing ideas of quality in early childhood settings, the practice of participatory research and evaluation, collaboration among the adults in children’s lives, and joining with practitioners in the telling of their stories. These interests are influenced by a background as a social worker and preschool director for an urban school district, as a policy analyst in the Arizona Governor’s Office, and as an early childhood special education program specialist with the Arizona Department of Education.

Areas of Expertise

Early education policy; participatory research/evaluation; social justice education; and cultural studies.


  • University Graduate Fellowship (ASU), 2008
  • ASU/Spencer Foundation Discipline-based Scholarship in Education, Spring 2006
  • Ying Fang Wu Scholarship, 1996-1997


B.A., Political Science, University of Arizona
M.S.W., Arizona State University
Ph.D., curriculum and instruction, Arizona State University

Recent Publications

Nagasawa, M. (Forthcoming). Arizona’s “Success by Six” legislative package: A case study of strategic framing.  Journal of Research in Childhood Education.

Nagasawa, M. (Forthcoming). Considering an ideal early childhood system: A case study of Arizona’s early efforts. Early Childhood Research and Practice.

Nagasawa, M., Peters, L.E., & Swadener, B.B.  (2014). The costs of putting quality first: Neoliberalism, (ine)quality, (un)affordability, and (in)accessibility?  In M.N. Bloch, B.B. Swadener, & G.S. Canella (Eds.). Reconceptualizing early childhood care and education: Critical questions, diverse imaginaries and social activism – a reader (pp. 277-288). New York: Peter Lang.

Nagasawa, M., & Swadener, B.B. (2013). Glocalization, neoliberal policies, and early childhood in Kenya and indigenous communities in the United States. He Kupu, the Word, 3(2), 43-57.

Nagasawa, M. (2013). Review of Effective Early Childhood Professional Development. C. Howes, B. K. Hamre, & R.C. Pianta (Eds.). Education Review.

Ciyer, A., Nagasawa, M., Swadener, B.B., & Patet, P. (2010). Impacts of the Arizona System Ready/Child Ready Professional Development Project on preschool teachers’ self-efficacy. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 31(2), 129-145.

Swadener, B.B., Aquino-Sterling, C., Nagasawa, M., & Bartlett, M. (2009). Anti-oppressive Pedagogy in Early Childhood Teacher Education: A Conversation. In S. L.Groenke & J. A. Hatch, (Eds.), Critical Pedagogy and Teacher Education in the Neoliberal Era: Small Openings, pp. 99-112. New York: Springer.

Niles, M.D., Reynolds, A.J., & Nagasawa, M. (2006). Does early childhood intervention affect the social and emotional development of participants? Early Childhood Research and Practice, 8(1).

Nagasawa, M. (2006). Review of Explorations in Curriculum History. Lynn M. Burlbaw & Sherry L. Field (Eds.) Education Review.

Nagasawa, M. (2005). Review of Poor Kids in a Rich Country by Timothy Smeeding & Lee Rainwater, Contemporary Sociology, 34(2), 132-133.