Headshot of Bob  Spires

Bob Spires

Associate Professor, Education

Member, SPCS Speakers Bureau

  • Profile

    Dr. Bob Spires comes to the University of Richmond from Georgia where he worked in undergraduate and graduate teacher education and taught as a secondary school teacher. At the University of Richmond, Dr. Spires is serving as an assistant professor in Graduate Education where he teaches a variety of courses in teacher education.

    His research interests include international non-formal education through charities, non-profits and NGOs, as well as social justice-related issues impacting teacher training. His teaching interests include courses that include middle and secondary teaching methods as well as courses focused on the social, economic, political, philosophical and cultural contexts of schooling domestically and internationally.

    Dr. Spires’ dissertation was a comparative study of NGOs in Thailand that used education to address human trafficking, which was published as a book titled Preventing Human Trafficking. He continues to conduct field work and publish research on non-formal education in Hong Kong, Cambodia and Thailand.

    Dr. Spires has also published research on teacher education, including work related to professional development schools and interdisciplinary STEM approaches in teacher training. His service interests include community partnerships and international field experiences for pre-service teachers. 

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    • Grants and Felowships

      Suriel, R., Spires, R., Martin, E., Radcliffe, B., & Paine, D. (2016). MGED – STEM Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning (ITL) Experiences (MGED STEM/ITL). $38,450.

      Spires, R. W. (Principal), Education and Migration at Human Trafficking and Development NGOs in Thailand, Cambodia and Hong Kong, Valdosta State University Faculty Research Seed Grant, $5,000.00.

      Spires, R. W. Prevent Human Trafficking Summer Study Fellowship Award, Studied human trafficking in Thailand, $2,000.

    • Presentations

      Spires, R., & Tost, J. (2019, April 16). An exploratory case study on rural Cambodian border youth: Social and educational barriers with implications for development (Paper presentation). Comparative & International Education Society 2019 Conference, San Francisco.

      Spires, R. (April 22, 2017). Non-formal education for disadvantaged children and youth: Human trafficking prevention in Cambodia (Keynote address). Georgia Psychological Society. College of Coastal Georgia.

      Spires, R. W. (March 8, 2016). Social mobility and marginalized youth in Hong Kong: The impact of NGO mentorship internships and workshop programs. Comparative and International Education Society 2016 Conference, Vancouver Canada. Presenter and Session Chair.

      Spires, R. W., (March 12, 2015) EASEL School: a case study of human trafficking prevention on the Cambodian border, Comparative and International Education Society 2015 Conference, Comparative and International Education Society, Washington DC. Published in the proceedings: http://cies2015.org/images/cies2015-program-small-update.pdf 

    • Professional Experience

      Associate Professor (2013-2018)

      Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Ga.

      6th & 7th Grade Social Studies & Language Arts Teacher (2007-2013)

      Oconee County Middle School, Watkinsville, Ga.

      6th Grade Social Studies & Language Arts Teacher (2004-2007)

      Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School, Athens, Ga.

      Community-Based Teacher (2002-2004)

      Clarke County Homeless Education Program, Athens, Ga.

    • Community Service

      • Board member, Love Without Boundaries
      • Research Consultant with Hong Kong-based Project Share
      • Board of Directors Chairperson, Easel School, Poipet Cambodia
      • International collaboration with Hong Kong based Liberty Asia

  • Selected Publications

    Spires, R. (2015). Preventing human trafficking: education and NGOs in Thailand. Surrey: UK. Ashgate Publishing Company. 

    Journal Articles

    Spires, R. & Rojewski, J. (2018). Hong Kong adolescents’ perspectives of selected aspects of the job interview process. Journal of Multicultural Affairs.

    Spires, R. (2018). Hong Kong youth identity and self-presentation in the New Territories: A qualitative study on letters from youth and teachers to an NGO internship program. Youth Voice Journal.  

    Spires, R. & Sainz, M. (2018) Lessons learned at a PDS middle school-university partnership in southern Georgia. PDS Partners Magazine, Spring 2018.

    Spires, R. (2017). Hong Kong’s postcolonial education reform: Liberal studies as a lens. International Journal of Education, 26(2), 154-173. 

    Spires, R. & Tost, J. (2017). Rural Cambodian women’s perspectives: An exploratory study on community ailments, migration and opportunity. Asia Pacific Journal of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 14, 9-26.

    Spires, R., Paine, D. & Cox, J.T. (October 2017). Pre-service teacher field experience reflections: A qualitative case study on attitudes toward control, behavior, students and self. GATEways to Teacher Education, 28(1).

    Spires, R. (2017). Hong Kong’s post-colonial education reform: Liberal studies as a lens. International Journal of Education Reform, 26(2), 156-175.

    Spires, R. (2017). Perceptions of disadvantaged youth on social and economic asymmetry: A case study in Hong Kong’s New Territories. FIRE: Forum for International Research in Education, 3(3).

    Spires, R., & Cox, J.T. (2016). Addressing social capital for disadvantaged youth: Youth and teacher perceptions of a youth development program in Hong Kong. Cogent Social Sciences, 2(1). doi:10.1080/23311886.2016.1191105

    Spires, R. (2015). Vulnerability. In Encyclopedia of World Poverty. Odekon, M. (Ed). Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA. 

    Spires, R. (2015). Achievement Gap. In Encyclopedia of World Poverty. Odekon, M. (Ed). Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.

    Spires, R. (July 2014). Human trafficking NGOs in Thailand: a two-site case study of the children served in educational programs. Slavery Today, 1(2), 93-118.

    Spires, R. (2012). Human trafficking and education: A qualitative case study of two NGO programs in Thailand. ERIC. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED538340.pdf

    Book Chapters

    Spires, R. (2018). Human trafficking and globalized neoliberal capitalism. In L’evoluzione dell’urbanesimo nelle emergenze: Retroterra, dinamiche, risposte (Romina Fuca, ed.). 331-340. Aracne Editrice: Rome, Italy.