Jal Mehta

Jal Mehta

PhD in Sociology and Social Policy, 2006.
Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Jal Mehta

In Search of Deeper Learning, by Jal Mehta and Sarah FineJal Mehta's latest book, co-authored with Sarah Fine, In Search of Deeper Learning: The Quest to Remake the American High School, has been published by Harvard University Press (2019). 

Winner of the Grawemeyer Award in Education, 2019.

PROSE Award Finalist, Association of American Publishers, 2020.

What would it take to transform industrial-era schools into modern organizations capable of supporting deep learning for all? Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine’s quest to answer this question took them inside some of America’s most innovative schools and classrooms—places where educators are rethinking both what and how students should learn.

Education in a New Society, edited by Jal Mehta and Scott DaviesJal Mehta's edited volume (with Scott Davies), Education in a New Society: Renewing the Sociology of Education, has been published by the University of Chicago Press (2018).

The sociology of education, the contributors show, largely works with themes, concepts, and theories that were generated decades ago, even as both the actual world of education and the discipline of sociology have changed considerably. The moment has come, they argue, to break free of the past and begin asking new questions and developing new programs of empirical study. Both rallying cry and road map, Education in a New Society will galvanize the field.


Evelyn Green Davis Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, 2016-2017.

Winner of the Morningstar Family Teaching Award, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2014.

The Allure of OrderJal Mehta's is the author of The Allure of Order: High Hopes, Dashed Expectations, and the Troubled Quest to Remake American Schooling, which recounts a century of attempts at revitalizing public education, and puts forward a truly new agenda to reach this elusive goal. Oxford University Press (2013).

The Futures of School ReformThe Futures of School Reform, edited by Jal Mehta, Robert B. Schwartz, and Frederick M. Hess, represents the culminating work of a three-year discussion among national education leaders convened by the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Harvard Education Press (2012).

Winner of the Spencer Foundation's Exemplary Dissertation Award for his dissertation, "The Transformation of American Educational Policy, 1980-2001: Ideas and the Rise of Accountability Politics," 2010.

Winner of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Outstanding Dissertation Award in the Politics of Education, 2008.


Alumni year