Dr. Pope specializes in curriculum studies, service learning, student engagement, school reform, and qualitative research methods. She is particularly interested in student voices and the students' perspectives of school. She focuses on academic stress and its consequences for students' mental and physical health, engagement with learning, and integrity. She co-founded Challenge Success to partner with schools and families to elevate student voice and implement research-based strategies for student well-being and engagement. She is the author of "Doing School": How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students (Yale University Press, 2001), which was awarded Notable Book in Education by the American School Board Journal, 2001. She is co-author of Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids (Wiley, 2015). Dr. Pope co-hosts the podcast "School's In" with GSE Dean Dan Schwartz.

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Senior Lecturer, Stanford University School of Education (2009 - Present)
  • Co-Founder, Challenge Success (2003 - Present)
  • Lecturer, Stanford University School of Education (1999 - 2008)

Honors & Awards

  • Education Professor of the Year "Educators' Voice Award", Academy of Education Arts and Sciences (2012)
  • Inaugural Girls’ Award for Leadership, The Girls' Middle School (2006)
  • Outstanding Teacher and Mentor, Stanford Graduate School of Education (2005-2006)
  • Outstanding Teacher and Mentor, Stanford Graduate School of Education (2002-2003)
  • Outstanding Teacher and Mentor, Stanford Graduate School of Education (2001-2002)
  • Exceptional Achievement in Teaching, Scholarship, and Service, Santa Clara University (1992-1993)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Advisory Council Member, Mastery Transcript Consortium (2018 - Present)
  • Advisory Council Member, The Girls' Middle School (2014 - Present)
  • Steering Committee Member, Stanford University Mental Health and Well-being Task Force (2012 - Present)
  • Trustee, Castilleja School, Palo Alto (2013 - 2019)
  • Trustee, Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School (2002 - 2012)
  • Research Advisor, Service Learning 2000 (1993 - 2000)

Professional Education

  • A.B., Stanford University, English (1988)
  • Ed.M., Harvard University, Teaching and Curriculum (1989)
  • Ph.D., Stanford University, Curriculum and Teacher Education (1999)

Research Interests

  • Adolescence
  • Child Development
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Leadership and Organization
  • Parents and Family Issues
  • Professional Development
  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • Teachers and Teaching

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Dr. Pope is co-founder of Challenge Success, a research and intervention project that aims to reduce unhealthy pressure on youth and champions a broader vision of youth success. Challenge Success is an expanded version of the SOS: Stressed-Out Students project that Dr. Pope founded and directed from 2003-2008. She lectures nationally on parenting techniques and pedagogical strategies to increase student well-being, engagement with learning, and integrity.

2023-24 Courses

Stanford Advisees

  • Master's Program Advisor
    Khongorzul Batireedui
  • Doctoral Dissertation Reader (NonAC)
    Archana Kannan

All Publications

  • How Can Schools Support Gender-Diverse Students' Well -Being? EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP Miles, S., Selby, S., Pope, D. 2024; 81 (5): 8-10
  • Helping students to learn and grow PHI DELTA KAPPAN Miles, S., Pope, D., Ciannella, C. 2024; 105 (5): 13-18
  • What Students and Teachers Do to Build Positive Reciprocal Relationships: A Study Co-Led by Youth and Adult Researchers AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION Conner, J. O., Goldstein, M., Mammen, J., Hernandez, J., Phillippo, K., Pope, D., Davidson, S. 2023

    View details for DOI 10.1086/725585

    View details for Web of Science ID 001025270500001

  • A caring climate that promotes belonging and engagement PHI DELTA KAPPAN Pope, D., Miles, S. 2022; 103 (5): 8-12
  • Easing the stress at pressure-cooker schools PHI DELTA KAPPAN Villeneuve, J., Conner, J. O., Selby, S., Pope, D. 2019; 101 (3): 15–19
  • A Systematic Review of Student Self-Report Instruments That Assess Student-Teacher Relationships Teachers College Record Phillippo, K. L., Conner, J., Davidson, S., Pope, D. 2017; 119 (9): 1-42
  • Overloaded and underprepared: Strategies for stronger schools and healthy, successful kids Pope, D., Brown, M., Miles, S. John Wiley & Sons. 2015
  • Student Engagement in High-Performing Schools: Relationships to Mental and Physical Health Engaging Youth in Schools Conner, J., Pope, D. edited by Shernoff, D., Bempechat, J. National Society for the Study of Education Yearbook,. 2014; 113 (1)
  • How Many Teachers Does it Take to Support a Student? Examining the Relationship between Teacher Support and Adverse Health Outcomes in High Performing, Pressure-Cooker High Schools Journal of Youth and Adolescence Conner, J. O., Pope, D. C., Miles, S. B. 2014; 98 (1): 22-42
  • Nonacademic Effects of Homework in Privileged, High-Performing High Schools JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL EDUCATION Galloway, M., Conner, J., Pope, D. 2013; 81 (4): 490-510
  • Not Just Robo-Students: Why Full Engagement Matters and How Schools Can Promote It JOURNAL OF YOUTH AND ADOLESCENCE Conner, J. O., Pope, D. C. 2013; 42 (9): 1426-1442


    Research has long linked academic engagement to positive social, psychological, and physical developmental outcomes; however, qualitative studies in high-performing schools find that some students who work hard in school may be compromising their mental and physical health in the pursuit of top grades. Such research calls for closer and more contextualized examinations of the concept of engagement. This study examines academic engagement in a sample of 6,294 students (54 % female; 44 % White, 34 % Asian, and 22 % other racial or ethnic background) attending 15 high-achieving schools. Findings show that two-thirds of students at these schools are not regularly "fully engaged" in their academic schoolwork; that is, they do not regularly report high levels of affective, behavioral and cognitive engagement. Although most students report working hard, few enjoy their schoolwork and find it valuable. This lack of full engagement, particularly the absence of affective and cognitive engagement, is associated with more frequent school stress, higher rates of cheating, and greater internalizing, externalizing, and physical symptoms of stress. The study also finds that full engagement is strongly related to positive teacher-student relationships. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10964-013-9948-y

    View details for Web of Science ID 000323252100008

    View details for PubMedID 23592282

  • Beyond 'Doing School': From 'Stressed-Out' to 'Engaged in Learning' Education Canada Pope, D. 2010; 50 (1): 4-8
  • Success with Less Stress EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP Conner, J., Pope, D., Galloway, M. 2009; 67 (4): 54-58
  • Stressed-out students – SOS: Youth perspectives on changing school climates International handbook of student experience of elementary and secondary school Galloway, M., Pope, D. C., Osberg, J. edited by Thiessen, D., Cook-Sather, A. Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2007: 611–634
  • Hazardous Homework? The Relationship between homework, goal orientation, and well-being in adolescents Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice Galloway, M. K., Pope, D. 2007; 20 (4): 25-31
  • Peshkin's problematics: teaching the nature of interpretation in qualitative research Qualitative Research Journal Pope, D. 2007; 6 (2): 173-182
  • Students matter in school reform: Leaving fingerprints and becoming leaders International Journal of Leadership in Education Osberg, J., Pope, D., Galloway, M. 2006; 9 (4): 329-343
  • Help for stressed students EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP Pope, D. C., Simon, R. 2005; 62 (7): 33-37
  • Teaching qualitative inquiry: How Elliot Eisner “makes sense.” Intricate Palette: Working the ideas of Elliot Eisner. Pope, D. edited by Uhrmacher, B., Matthews, J. New Jersey: Pearson Education.. 2005: 153–161
  • Rationales for Integrating Service-Learning in Teacher Education Service-learning in teacher education: Enhancing the growth of new teachers, their students, and communities Verducci, S., Pope, D. edited by Anderson, J., Swick, K., Yff, J. Washington D.C.: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. 2001: 2–18
  • Doing school: How we are creating a generation of stressed out, materialistic, and miseducated students Pope, D. C. Yale University Press. 2001