An experienced educator, researcher, and evaluator, Joel Samoff combines the scholar’s critical approach and extensive experience in international development. With a background in history, political science, and education, he studies and teaches about education and development. From Kilimanjaro coffee farmers in Tanzania to militant bus drivers in Ann Arbor Michigan to the education activists of Namibia and South Africa, the orienting concern of his work has been understanding how people organize themselves to transform their communities. He joined the Stanford University faculty in 1980 and is currently in the Center for African Studies. He has also been a faculty member at the Universities of California (Los Angeles; Santa Barbara), Michigan, and Zambia and has taught in Mexico, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. The recipient of an honorary doctorates from the University of Pretoria and the University of the Free State in South Africa, he chaired the International Advisory Council of the University of the Free State. Concerned with public policy as well as research, and especially with the links between them, Samoff works regularly with international agencies and NGOs involved in African education. Formerly its North America Editor, he serves on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Educational Development and on the editorial boards of the Comparative Education Review, the Journal of Educational Research in Africa, and the Southern African Review of Education.
Among his publications are: