Elena Aydarova

Associate Professor

photo of Elena Aydarova

Office: 4002 Haley Center

Units: Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Technology

Campus Mail: 4036 Haley Center

Email: eza0029@auburn.edu

Phone: (334) 844-7784

Vita: view vita

Academic Areas

Educational Psychology

Foundations of Education

Short Bio

Elena Aydarova is an Assistant Professor of Social Foundations in the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Technology. Her interdisciplinary scholarship lies at the intersections of anthropology of education, educational policy, teacher education, and comparative education. Dr. Aydarova’s research examines transformations in teaching and teacher education through the lens of equity, diversity, and social justice. The transformations she studies include technocratic policies that reorient teaching and teacher education, teacher preparation for work with racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse students in the context of rising technocracy, as well as teacher educators’ policy advocacy in response to neoliberal reforms.

Dr. Aydarova has authored and co-authored more than twenty journal articles and book chapters, including works published in the Handbook of Research on Teaching (5th ed.) and the SAGE Handbook of Research on Teacher Education. Aydarova’s book, Teacher Education Reform as Political Theater: Russian Policy Dramas (2019, SUNY Press), focuses on the theatricality of teacher education reforms and calls on teacher educators to look for creative ways to engage in policy dialogues. The book has been recognized with a 2020 Critics’ Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association and an Outstanding Book Award from the Council on Anthropology and Education.

She received an American Fellowship from the American Association of University Women, Doug Foley Early Career Award (honorable mention) and the Concha Delgado Gaitan Presidential Fellowship from the Council of Anthropology and Education, as well as a Global Teacher Education Fellowship from the Longview Foundation. Her research has also won awards from Division K of the American Educational Research Association, the Comparative and International Education Society, as well as TESOL International. Dr. Aydarova’s teaching is based on the principles of feminist, decolonial, and critical pedagogies.

Dr. Aydarova’s personal and professional journey spans the globe. Born in Russia and raised in Ukraine, she spent several years teaching in China and the United Arab Emirates. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, reading, cooking, and swimming.


Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education, 2015, Michigan State University

MA in Linguistics, 2005, University of South Carolina

BA in English, 2003, Odessa National University

Professional Experience

2022 - Present

Associate Professor, Auburn University

2017 - 2022

Assistant Professor, Auburn University

2015 - 2017

Postdoctoral Scholar, Arizona State University

2010 - 2015

Teaching Assistant, Michigan State University

2007 - 2010

English Faculty, Emirates College for Advanced Education, Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates

2005 - 2007

English Instructor, College of Humanities and Sciences, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China

Teaching Interests

  • Social foundations of education
  • Issues of diversity in education
  • Global perspectives on education
  • Philosophy of education
  • Decolonial theories, methods, and practices

Research Interests

Dr. Aydarova' research focuses on educational reforms in the context of global neoliberal transformations in education. Her projects explore privatization of teacher education, teacher preparation for culturally and linguistically diverse students, as well as internationalization of education in the United States. Research topics include:
  • Social justice and equity in education
  • Global education policies
  • Educational privatization
  • Teacher education commodification
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse students
  • Internationalization of educational settings


  Elena Aydarova's Scholarship Website