College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University
Graduate School of Education - George Mason University

Our Graduate School of Education is the alma mater for one third of teachers and administrators in Northern Virginia’s world-class school systems. Each year, more than 3,000 graduate students enroll in our innovative academic programs, which include advanced study for teachers and school leaders, instructional design and technology, and a renowned PhD in Education program that is among the largest in the country.


School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism - George Mason University

The School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism (SRHT) offers exciting, career-ready majors in dynamic fields such as athletic training, tourism and events management, health and physical education, kinesiology, sport management, and recreation management. SRHT features renowned faculty, cutting-edge research, six laboratories and centers, and a diverse student body of more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. Each major requires one or more internship or clinical experiences, ensuring that students graduate not just with a transcript but with a resume that demonstrates their professional aptitude and skills.

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Hopson

Phone: (703) 993-4178
Fax: (703) 993-3678
Email: rhopson (

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
West Building 2102
4400 University Dr.
MS 6D2
Fairfax, VA 22030


Rodney Hopson, Ph.D. is Professor, Division of Educational Psychology, Research Methods, and Education Policy, College of Education and Human Development and Senior Research Fellow, Center for Education Policy and Evaluation, George Mason University.  Hopson currently serves as an affiliated faculty member of the Center for Culturally Responsive Assessment and Evaluation (CREA) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Previously, he served as Hillman Distinguished Professor, Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership in the School of Education, and teaching faculty member in the Center for Interpretive and Qualitative Research and Honors College in the School of Liberal Arts, Duquesne University. He received his Ph.D. from the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia with major concentrations in educational evaluation and policy, anthropology and sociolinguistics.

Research Interests

Hopson’s primary research areas lie in comparative and international education policy and politics with a focus on official, indigenous, and medium of instruction language issues; critical, cultural issues in education, social policy, and evaluation; neighborhoods and education policy; and interpretive, qualitative and ethnographic methods.

Relative to his research interests, Hopson raises questions that 1) analyze and address the differential impact of education and schooling on marginalized and underrepresented groups in diverse global nation states and 2) seek solutions to social and educational conditions in the form of alternative paradigms, epistemologies, and methods for the way the oppressed and marginalized succeed and thrive despite circumstances and opportunities that suggest otherwise.

Recent Publications

Books published

Hopson, R., Rodick, W., & Kaul, A. (2016).  New directions in educational ethnography: Shifts, problems, and reconstruction.  [Studies in Educational Ethnography, Vol. 13.] Bingley, UK:  Emerald.

Hood, S., Hopson, R., and Frierson, H. (Eds.) (2015). Continuing the journey to reposition culture and cultural context in evaluation theory and practice.  Greenwich, CT:  Information Age Publishing.

Hopson, R.K. & Dixson, A.D. (2013)  Race, ethnography, and education.  London: Routledge  [reprinted from (2011).  Race and ethnography:  Intersections, theories, and meanings.  Ethnography and Education.  London: Routledge.].

Yarbrough, D., Shulha, L.M., Hopson, R., and Caruthers, F. (2010).  The program evaluation standards: A guide for evaluators and evaluation users (3rd ed.)  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage.

Hopson, R.K. , Yeakey, C.C.,  and Boakari, F.. (Eds.).  (2008).  Power, Voice and The Public Good: Schooling and Education in Global Societies. Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

Brock-Utne, B. and Hopson, R. (Eds.).  (2005).  Languages of instruction for African emancipation:  Focus on postcolonial contexts and considerations.  Cape Town/Dar es Salaam:  The Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society/Mkuki na Nyota.

Hood, S., Hopson, R., and  Frierson, H. (Eds.) (2005).  The role of culture and cultural context: A mandate for inclusion, the discovery of truth, and understanding in evaluative theory and practice.  Greenwich, CT:  Information Age.

Book Editorships

Editor, Studies in Educational Ethnography.  UK:  Emerald (2014 – present).

Co-Editor (with Ted Hamann), Education policy as/in practice:  Critical cultural studies, Information Age Publication Book Series (2009 - present)

Edited journals

Chouinard, J.A. & Hopson, R. (Eds.) (2016).  Decolonizing international development evaluation.  Canadian Journal for Program Evaluation, 30(3).

Collins, P. & Hopson, R. (Eds.) (2014).  Building a new generation of culturally responsive evaluators:  Contributions of the American Evaluation Associations’ Graduate Education Diversity Internship Program.  New Directions for Evaluation, No. 143.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Hopson, R. & Dixson, A. (Eds.) (2011).  Race and ethnography:  Intersections, theories, and meanings.  Ethnography and Education.  London: Routledge.

Thompson-Robinson, M., Hopson, R., & SenGupta, S. (Eds.). (2004).  In search of cultural competence in evaluation:  Toward principles and practices.  New Directions for Evaluation.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.

Peer reviewed articles (selected)

Barksdale, C., Rodick, W., Hopson, R., Kenyon, J., & Jacobs, G. (2016). Literature Review of the National CLAS Standards: Policy and Practical Implications. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. DOI 10.1007/s40615-016-0267-3.

Chouinard, J.A. & Hopson, R. (2016).  A critical exploration of culture in international development evaluation.  Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 30(3), 248-276. (Honourable Mention in CJPE’s 2016 Best Article Competition)

Hopson, R., Miller, P., & Lovelace, T. (2016).  Community-university partnerships as vehicles of radical leadership, service, and change:  A critical brokerage perspective.  Leadership and Policy in Schools, 15(1), 26-44.

Hopson, R. (2014).  Why are studies of neighborhoods and communities central to education policy and reform?  Urban Education, 49(8), 992-995.

Hopson, R. (2014). Justice signposts in evaluation theory, practice, and policy.  Griffith, J. & Montrosse-Moorhead, B. Balancing Values:  Validity and evaluation argument,142.  San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass.

Kim-Prieto, C., Copeland, H.L, Hopson, R., Simmons, T., & Leibowitz, M.J. (2013).  The role of professional identity in graduate school success for under-represented minority students.  Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education.  DOI: 10.1002/bmb.20673.

McCarty, T., Collins, J., & Hopson, R. (2011). Dell Hymes and the new [language] policy studies: Update from an underdeveloped country. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 42(4), 335-363.

Miller, P., Brown, T., & Hopson, R. (2011)  Centering love, hope, and trust in the community:  Transformative urban leadership informed by Paulo Freire.  Urban Education, 46(5), 1078-1099.

Stokes, H., Chaplin, S., Dessouky, S., Aklilu, L., & Hopson, R. (2011).  Serving marginalized populations through culturally responsive evaluation. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education., 5(3), 167-177.

Hopson, R. (2010).  Language Rights and San in Namibia: A fragile and ambitious but necessary proposition.  International Journal of Human Rights, 15(1), 111-126.

Hopson, R., Hotep, U., Schneider, D., & Turenne, I. (2010).  What’s Educational Leadership Without an African-Centered Perspective?: Explorations and Extrapolations. Urban Education, 45(6), 777-796.

Hood, S. & Hopson, R.K. (2008).  Evaluation roots reconsidered:  Asa Hilliard, a Fallen Hero in the “Nobody Knows My Name” Project, and African Educational Excellence.  Review of Educational Research, 78(3), 410-426.

Book chapters (selected)

Hood, S., and Hopson, R. (2016, forthcoming). The legacy of the Journal of Negro Education in evaluation:  Race, the production of knowledge in Black higher education, and the emergence of culturally responsive evaluation (CRE).  In Graham, S., Foster, B., and Donaldson, J. (Eds.).  Transformation of higher education:  Anthropological and policy perspectives.  Greenwich, CT:  Information Age Publishing.

Hood, S., Hopson, R., and Kirkhart, K. (2015).  Culturally Responsive Evaluation:  Theory, practice, and future implications.  In Newcomer, K. and Hatry, H (Eds.). Handbook on practical program Evaluation (4th ed.) (pp. 281-317).  San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass.

Roebuck-Sakho, J.  Whitaker, R., and Hopson, R. (2015). Toward community- centric educational leadership in addressing the school discipline disparity. In Khalifa, M., Grant, C., and Arnold, N. (Eds.).  Handbook of Urban School Leadership.  Lanham, MD:  Rowman Littlefield.   

Casillas, W., Gomez, R., and Hopson, R. (2015).  Making culturally responsive decisions in evaluation practice.  In Christie, C.A. & Vo, A.T. (Eds.). Evaluation use and decision-making in society:  A tribute to Marvin C. Alkin. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Hopson, R.K., Kirkhart, K.E., and Bledsoe, K.L. (2012).  Decolonizing evaluation in a developing world:  Implications and cautions for equity-focused evaluations.  In Segone, M. (Ed.). Evaluation for equitable development results (pp. 59-83).  NY:  UNICEF.

Frazier-Anderson, P., Hood, and Hopson, R. (2011).  Preliminary considerations of an African American Culturally Responsive Evaluation System. In Lapan, S.D., Quartaroli, M.T., and Riemer, F.J. (Eds.).  Qualitative Research:  An Introduction to Methods and Designs (pp. 347-372).  San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass.

Hopson, R. (2011).  Reconstructing ethnography and language policy in colonial Namibian schooling:  Historical perspectives of St. Mary’s High School at Odibo.  In  McCarty, T.L. (Ed.). Ethnography and Language Policy (pp. 99-118).  Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group: NY.

Hopson, R. (2009) “Oshinglisha oshapi eyi etia teka”  English, colonial power, and education int 20th and 21st century Owambo, Namibia.  In Brock-Utne, B. & Garbo, G. (Eds.).  Language and power:  Implications of language for peace and development.  Dar es Salaam/Oxford: Mkuki na Nyota/ABC.

Brown, L, Kouyate, M., & Hopson, R. (2009). Making so big a dream near and dear to all African American males.  In Frierson, H. & J. H. Wyche (Eds.).  The Diminishing African American Male in Higher Education (pp. 113-133).   Oxford:  Emerald.

Hopson, R. (2009). Reclaiming knowledge at the margins:  Culturally responsive evaluation in the current evaluation moment.  In Ryan, K. & Cousins, B. (Eds.).  International Handbook on Evaluation (pp. 431-448).  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage.

Hopson, R.K. & Hays, J. (2008).  Schooling and education for the San (Ju|’hoansi) in Namibia:  Between a rock of colonialism and the hard place of globalization.  In Hopson, R.K. , Yeakey, C.C.,  & Boakari, F.. (Eds.).  Power, Voice and the Public Good: Schooling and Education in Global Societies. Oxford, Emerald.

Bledsoe, K.L. & Hopson, R.K. (2008).  Conducting ethical research in underserved communities.  P.Ginsberg & D. M. Mertens (Eds.).  The Handbook of Social Research Ethics.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage.

Other Information

Hopson has received over $5 million from the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and other local and international funders in support of his research and evaluation work, such as school districts, universities, and philanthropic agencies.   He has been developed internship and fellowship programs to support graduate and post-graduate students of color and from traditionally underrepresented communities to embed in their practice and the understanding and development of Culturally Responsive Evaluation (CRE) approaches and practices.

Hopson currently or recently served on the editorial boards of several publications, including American Journal of Evaluation, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, Education and Ethnography (where he serves as North American co-editor), Educational Foundations, Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, Journal of Negro Education, New Directions for Evaluation, and the following book volumes: Encyclopedia of Evaluation and the Evaluation and Society (Information Age).   He is editor of the Studies in Educational Ethnography, Emerald Publishers and co-editor of Educational Policy as/in Practice: Critical Cultural Studies, Information Age Book Series.

In leadership capacities, Hopson has served on the Board of the Directors of the Council of Anthropology and Education, the American Evaluation Association, and various program, division, special or topical interest groups, and committee chair roles in the American Educational Research Association, the America Evaluation Association, and the Comparative and International Education Society.    Most notably, he served as the 2012 President of the American Evaluation Association.

Courses Taught This Semester