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Michael Klein

Associate Professor, Program Director

American Culture and Difference
Justice & Society Studies

  • Expertise
  • Leadership for Social Justice, Critical Pedagogy, Art and Social Justice, Identity and agency in anti-racism education
  • Research Interests
  • Democratizing leadership, Critical pedagogy and praxis education, Intersections between visual art and social justice, Peacebuilding in communities, organizations, and institutions, Collaborative research with indigenous communities.

Mike Klein, Ed.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Justice and Peace Studies at the University of St. Thomas. He teaches undergraduate courses on Leadership for Social Justice, Introduction to Justice and Peace Studies, and seminars on: vocational discernment, art and social change, history and social movements, and coffee as lens for interdisciplinary analysis. He also teaches graduate courses on critical education in social movements and the pedagogy of Paulo Freire. His research and publishing focus on: leadership, peace education, critical pedagogy, popular culture in peace studies, and service-learning.

Klein received a 2007 Bush Foundation Leadership Fellowship for doctoral research on ritualizing leadership for democratic decision-making and action. He completed the James P. Shannon Leadership Institute in 2011, and consults with the Neighborhood Leadership Program at the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.

From 2002-2007, he served as the Social Justice Vocation Instructor and Leadership Coordinator in Justice and Peace Studies, funded by a grant from the Lilly Foundation. Previously, he worked in Campus Ministry to direct VISION immersion trips throughout the US, Central America, and the Caribbean, and local VIA volunteer teams. Klein’s undergraduate degrees are in studio arts and theology and his Masters work is in education with an emphasis on service-learning.

A muralist focused on community-based projects, Klein has worked with participants in boxing and African dance programs, a youth farm project, a multi-cultural immigrant community, an alternative high school for juvenile offenders, a crisis nursery, and a food program for people living with HIV/AIDS.

In addition to journal articles and book chapters, he is the author or editor of five books including, "Democratizing Leadership: Counter-hegemonic Democracy in Organizations, Institutions, and Communities" released in 2016 by Information Age Publishing.


Peer Reviewed Publications:

Books

Klein, M. & Shoholm, D. (2017). Neighborhood Leadership: Celebrating twenty years of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation's Neighborhood Leadership Program (NLP). St. Paul, Minnesota: Praxia Books.

Klein, M. (2016). Democratizing Leadership: Counter-Hegemonic Democracy in Communities, Organizations, and Institutions. Counter-Hegemonic Democracy and Social Change. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Book chapters

Klein, M. (2019). “Democratizing Leadership: Pre-conflict Preventative Peacebuilding,” in Schockman, H.E.; Hernández, V.; A. Boitano, A. (Eds.) Peace, Reconciliation and Social Justice Leadership in the 21st Century: The Role of Leaders and Followers (Building Leadership Bridges Vol. 8), London: Emerald. Pp. 295-304.

Klein, M. (2018). “Pluralistic Identity Construction in the “I am from…” Activity”, in (Ed.) Brookfield, S. (Ed.) Teaching Race in the Classroom. New York: Oxford.

Klein, M. (2018). “Institutional ethnography as peace research,” in Millar, G. (Ed.) Ethnographic peace research: Approaches and tensions. London: Palgrave.

Klein, M. (2017). Social change wheel analysis: Beyond the dichotomy of charity or justice, in (Eds.) Colon, C.; Gristwood, A. & Woolf, M. (2017). Civil Rights and Inequalities, Occasional Publication #6, Boston: CAPA, The Global Education Network.

Klein, M. (2015). "Popular Film and Peace Studies: Conscientization In and Through Film." In Finley, Connors & Wien (Eds.) Teaching peace through popular culture. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Klein, M. (2012). “Why do students call me ‘The War Teacher’? Problematizing militarism in education as a Freireian codification”, In Carr & Porfilio (Eds.) Educating for peace in a time of permanent war: Are schools part of the solution or problem? New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group

Journal articles

Klein, M. (2018). Folk Schools as Models for Contemporary Democratic Peacebuilding.” Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, 13:3, 70-85.

George, C. M.; Weinkauf, D. H. & Klein, M. (2018). Fifteen Years of Peace Engineering: Models of Integration into the Senior-Design Engineering Educational Capstone Experience, World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF) and Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) Conference Proceedings, November 12-16, 2018, Albuquerque, NM.

Klein, M.; Finnegan, A; Nelson-Pallmeyer, J. (2018). “Circle of Praxis Pedagogy for Peace Studies.” Peace Review, Issue 30(3): Designing Peace and War Curricula.

Finnegan, A., Klein, M., Michaelson, C., White, S. (2017). “Can business help to cultivate peace and wellbeing?” Business, peace, and sustainable development, Volume 2016, Number 8, December 2016, pp. 55-69.

Klein, M. (2013). “Cell phones, t-shirts and coffee: Codification of commodities in a circle of praxis pedagogy” Peace Studies Journal special edition: The Business of war and peace, and the potential for education to play a transformative role, 6(1) 31-45.

Klein, M. (2012). “Online partnerships for human rights education praxis” Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, 24:1–9

Klein, M. (2007). “Peace education and Paulo Freire’s method: Towards the democratization of teaching and learning.” Convergence Adult Education Journal, Issue 40(1-2), 187-205.

Dissertation

Klein, M. (2009). Raising hands: Ritualizing leadership for democratic decision-making and action. Doctoral
dissertation.

Other Professional Publications:

Books

Klein, M. (Ed.). (2020). Leadership for social justice, volume VI, A PLACE to Call Home. St. Paul, Minnesota: Praxia Books. [A Sustainable Communities Partnership Project with PLACE]

Klein, M. (Ed.). (2019). Leadership for social justice, volume V, Transit Transformations. St. Paul, Minnesota: Praxia Books. [A Sustainable Communities Partnership Project with Metro Transit]

Klein, M. (Ed.). (2018). Leadership for social justice, volume IV, Roots for Change: Grounding Processes of Peacebuilding. St. Paul, Minnesota: Praxia Books.

Klein, M. (Ed.). (2017). Leadership for social justice, volume III, You, me & humanity: Active voices for change. St. Paul, Minnesota: Praxia Books.

Klein, M. (2017). North Shore Coloring Book, St. Paul, MN: Praxia Books.
“Regional Favorite” and best seller of 2017 at Drury Lane Book Store, Grand Marais, Minnesota.

Klein, M. (Ed.). (2016). Leadership for social justice, volume II, Murmurations: A Collaboration of peacebuilders. St. Paul, Minnesota: Praxia Books.

Klein, M. (Ed.). (2015). Leadership for social justice, volume I, Profiles in peacebuilding. St. Paul, Minnesota: Praxia Books.

Klein, M. (2013). Teaching a peace of my mind: Exploring the meaning of peace one story at a time. An educators' guide to: Noltner, J. (2011). A peace of my mind. St. Paul, Minnesota: Praxia Books.

Klein, M. (Ed.). (2013). Teaching the Compassionate Rebel Revolution: Ordinary People Changing the World. An educators' guide to: Berlowe, B. (2011). The Compassionate Rebel Revolution. St. Paul, Minnesota: Praxia Books.


Klein received a 2007 Bush Foundation Leadership Fellowship for doctoral research on ritualizing leadership for democratic decision-making and action.

He completed the James P. Shannon Leadership Institute in 2011, and is a consultant on leadership programs with the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.

He was the 2017 Aquinas Scholars Professor of the Year.