keynote Speaker: DIANA HESS


Teaching in a Time of Political Climate Change 

Description: The political “climate” is changing dramatically with consequences for social studies teachers and our students. In this talk, Dr. Hess will describe how the political climate is changing and what we should consider doing differently in our teaching as a consequence.


Diana E. Hess is the Dean of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also holds the Karen A. Falk Distinguished Chair of Education. Formerly, Hess was the Senior Vice President of the Spencer Foundation. Since 1997, she has been researching how teachers engage their students in discussions of highly controversial political and constitutional issues, and what impact this approach to civic education has on what young people learn. Her first book on this topic, Controversy in the Classroom: The Democratic Power of Discussion won the National Council for the Social Studies Exemplary Research Award in 2009. Her most recent book, The Political Classroom: Evidence and Ethics in Democratic Education, co-authored with Paula McAvoy, won the American Educational Research Association’s Outstanding Book Award in 2016, and in 2017 she received the prestigious Grawemeyer Award and the Grambs Distinguish Career Award for Research from the National Council on Social Studies.

Professor Hess is deeply committed to working with teachers to improve the quality of democratic education in schools. To that end, she frequently keynotes conferences and leads professional development courses and workshops. Professor Hess serves on the board of the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago and the iCivics Scholars Advisory Board.

California Council for the Social Studies
Serving K-16 Educators Statewide
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