Carolyn Pluim, Ph.D.
Department Chair
Professor, Foundations of Education


Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations (LEPF)

Research Interests

My research interests are focused around the intersections of sociology of education, curriculum studies and educational policy, specifically as these relate to school health policies, practices and pedagogies. I explore the ways in which contemporary school health policies are negotiated and experienced by students and school personnel. A central theme running throughout my research is the relationship between discourse and social dynamics as this bears on sociological understandings of health, illness and the body and influences the responsibilities and obligations of public schools.


  • Ph.D. Georgia State University, Atlanta, Educational Policy Studies, Social Foundations of Education
  • M.S. Michigan Technological University, Environmental Policy
  • B.S. University of Western Ontario, Nursing


Gard, M. and Pluim, C. (formerly Vander Schee). (2014). Schools and Public Health: Past, Present, Future. New York: Lexington.

Refereed Articles

Gray, E., Pluim, C., Pike, J. and Leahy, D. (2018). ‘Someone has to Keep Shouting': Celebrities as Food Pedagogues. The Journal of Celebrity Studies, 9(1), 69-83. DOI: 10.1080/19392397.2017.1334566

Gard, M. and Pluim, C. (2017). Where is the Critical Health Education Scholarship in the United States?: An Examination of Fitnessgram®. Sport, Education and Society, 5, 602-617. DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2016.1213716

Pluim, C. and Gard, M. (2016). Physical Education's Grand Convergence: Fitnessgram®, Big-data and the Digital Commerce of Children's Bodies. Critical Studies in Education, 59(3) 261-278. DOI: 10.1080/17508487.2016.1194303

Vander Schee, C. and Gard, M. (2014). Happy, Healthy and Ready to Teach or, Why Kids Can't Learn from Fat Teachers: The Discursive Politics of School Reform and Teacher Health. Critical Public Health, 24(2), 210-225.

Vander Schee, C. and Kline, K. (2013). Neoliberal Exploitation in Reality Television: Youth Health and the Spectacle of Celebrity Concern. Journal of Youth Studies, 16(5), 565-578.

Gard, M. and Vander Schee, C. (2011). The Obvious Solution. In M. Gard, The End of the Obesity Epidemic (82-107). London: Routledge.

Vander Schee, C. and Boyles, D. (2010). ‘Exergaming' and the Crisis Discourse of Childhood Obesity. Sport, Education and Society, 15(2), 169-185.

Vander Schee, C. (2009). (Re)Considering the Neutrality of Care: The Case of Body Mass Indexing in Schools. Philosophical Studies in Education, 40, 138-152.

Vander Schee, C. and Baez, B. (2009). HIV/AIDS Education in Schools: The ‘Unassembled' Youth as a Curricular Project. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 30(1), 33-46.

Vander Schee, C. (2009). Fruit, Root Vegetables, Fatness and Foucault: Governing Students and their Families through School Health Policy. Journal of Education Policy, 24(5), 557-574.

Vander Schee, C. (2009). Confessions of the "Unhealthy"--Eating Chocolate in the Halls and Smoking Behind the Bus Garage: Teachers as Health Missionaries. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 30, 407-419.

Book Chapters

Pluim, C. and Gard, M. (In Press). School Health Policies and Practices: Ethical Entanglements and a Call for Criticality. In S. Fraser-Burgess, J. Heybach, and D. Metro-Roland (Eds), The Cambridge Handbook on Ethics and Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Powell, D. and Pluim, C. (2020). School Nutrition and the International Practice of Governing Health Behaviors. In D. Leahy, K. Fitzpatrick, J. Wright, and M. Gard (Eds.), Social Theory, Health and Education. NY: Routledge.

Leigh-Jette, S., Esmonde, K., Andrews, D.L., and Pluim, C. (2020). Big Bodies, Big Data: Unpacking the Fitnessgram® Black Box. In D.L. Andrews, H. Thorpe, J. Newman (Eds), Sport, Physical Culture, and the Moving Body: Materialism, Technologies and Ecologies. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Pluim, C. and Gard, M. (2019). Schools and Health: An Argument Against the Tide. In R. Pringle, Larsson, and G. Gerdin (Eds.), Critical Research in Sport, Health and Physical Education: How to Make a Difference. NY: Routledge.

Pluim, C., Leahy, D. and Powell, D. (2018). Schooling Lunch: Health, Food and the Pedagogicalization of the Lunchbox. In S. Rice and A.G. Rudd (Eds.), School Lunch: Critical Educational Perspectives (59-74). NY: Palgrave.

Gard, M. and Pluim, C. (2016). Parents as Pawns in Fitnessgram®'s War on Obesity. In L. Burrows and S. Dagkas (Eds.), Families, Young People, Physical Activity and Health: Critical Perspectives (71-83). NY: Routledge.

Gard, M. and Vander Schee, C. (2015). School, the State and Obesity: Some Critical and Historical Perspectives. In K. Fitzpatrick and R. Tinning (Eds.), Health Education: Critical Perspectives (61-74). NY: Routledge.

Vander Schee, C. (2012). Keyword - Malls. In N. Lesko and S. Talburt (Eds.), Youth Studies: Keywords and Movements (169-173). NY: Routledge.

Carolyn Pluim


Graham 223C

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