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Joel Westheimer

Joel Westheimer is University Research Chair in Democracy and Education at the University of Ottawa and education columnist for CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning and Ontario Today shows. He began his career teaching in the New York City Public School system before obtaining a Ph.D. from Stanford University. His newest (2015) critically acclaimed book is What Kind of Citizen? Educating Our Children for the Common Good. Other award-winning books include Pledging Allegiance: The Politics of Patriotism in America's Schools (foreword by Howard Zinn) and Among Schoolteachers. He is currently principal investigator (with John Rogers, UCLA) of The Inequality Project, investigating what schools are teaching about economic inequality. Westheimer has delivered more than 200 keynote speeches nationally and internationally. 

 Westheimer began his career in education as a summer camp director and then middle school teacher in the New York City Public School system, before obtaining a Ph.D. from Stanford University. He co-founded and served as executive director for seven years of Democratic Dialogue, a group of researchers dedicated to the critical exploration of democratic ideals in education and society. He has published more than 60 scholarly and professional articles and book chapters and addresses radio and television audiences on shows such as Good Morning America, More to Life, The Agenda, NBC TV News, C-Span, NPR, and CBC. He is recipient of the Canadian Education Association’s Whitworth Award and Knight Fellow for Civic Engagement in Higher Education. This year, he was appointed one of sixty living Laureates of Kappa Delta Pi, the education honor society (established in 1911; past laureates include Margaret Mead, Albert Einstein, and Jean Piaget).

 Westheimer grew up in New York City and has also lived in San Francisco, Princeton (New Jersey), Argentina, and Israel. Before moving to Ottawa, he taught at Stanford University and at New York University. He enjoys performing in community theatre and plays guitar with a group of professors in a band called The Pedagogues. Westheimer has two children and a dog named Farley.  His wife is also a professor – in the English department at Carleton University in Ottawa.  In Winter, both he and his wife ice-skate to and from work. Farley stays home.

 He tweets his bi-weekly CBC Radio broadcasts at @joelwestheimer


My Speakers Sessions

Tuesday, April 26

3:45pm MDT