David Saavedra, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Foundations of Education

David Saavedra, Ph.D.


  • Ph.D. in Education, Social Foundations, University of Virginia
  • M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language, Simmons College
  • B.A. in History, Yale University

Research interests

cross-cultural educational relationships, relational pedagogy, the impact of cultural difference on care and caring, critical pedagogy

Recent publications

  • Saavedra, D.R.M. (2023). Love and learning in times of cultural transition. In T. Kress, R. Lake, & E. Stein (Eds.), Radically dreaming: Illuminating Freirean praxis in turbulent times (pp. 301-309). DIO Press.
  • Saavedra, D.R.M. (2022) Responding to technological disruptions during online video interviews conducted via Zoom. The Qualitative Report, 27(6), 1479-1484. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2022.5524
  • Saavedra, D.R.M. (2021) Leveraging affection: Embedded tensions in a teacher’s relationships with students. Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue, 23(1/2), 129-143.
  • Saavedra, D.R.M. (2020). Cultivating attention to deepen relationships with immigrant students. Philosophy of Education, 75, 705-717. https://doi.org/10.47925/75.2019.705


Dr. David R. M. Saavedra uses an ethnographic lens to study how cross-cultural educational relationships are formed, maintained, broken, and repaired and the importance of such relationships in the learning process. He aims to understand how teachers and students from different cultural backgrounds form relationships with one another, how these relationships function in schools to either aid or hinder learning, and the various ways in which an ethic of care can be applied and understood by those in a culturally diverse setting.

Prior to earning his doctorate, Dr. Saavedra had nearly 17 years of experience in education, which sparked his interest in the intersection of culture and educational experience. Most of this time was spent as a high school teacher of English for Speakers of Other Languages and Sheltered English Immersion History in the greater Boston area. He also taught secondary English in Mozambique with the Peace Corps, worked as a program manager for an educational nonprofit in Boston, and served as an instructional coach in Puerto Rico.

Curriculum Vitae

(804) 827-2627