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The Democratic Dialogue Team

Biographies of Principal Investigators

William Ayers, University of Illinois-Chicago—Chicago, Illinois
William Ayers is Distinguished Professor of Education, and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the founder of the Center for Youth and Society and founder and co-director of the Small Schools Workshop. A graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University, he has written extensively about social justice, democracy and education. His interests focus on the political and cultural contexts of schooling as well as the meaning and ethical purposes of teachers, students, and families. His articles have appeared in many journals including the Harvard Educational Review, the Journal of Teacher Education, Teachers College Record, The Nation, and The Cambridge Journal of Education. His books include A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court (Beacon Press, 1997), and To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher, (Teachers College Press, 1993) which was named Book of the Year in 1993 by Kappa Delta Pi and won the Witten Award for Distinguished Work in Biography and Autobiography in 1995. Recent edited books include To Become a Teacher: Making a Difference in Children's Lives, (Teachers College Press, 1995), (with Janet Miller) A Light in Dark Times: Maxine Greene and the Unfinished Conversation, (Teachers College Press, 1997), (with Pat Ford) City Kids/City Teachers: Reports from the Front Row, (The New Press, 1996), (with Jean Ann Hunt and Therese Quinn) Teaching for Social Justice: A Democracy and Education Reader, (The New Press and Teachers College Press, 1998), (with Mike Klonsky and Gabrielle Lyon) A Simple Justice: The Challenge of Small Schools, (Teachers College Press, 2000), and (with Rick Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn) Zero Tolerance: Resisting the Drive for Punishment. A handbook for parents, students, educators and citizens, (The New Press, 2001). His latest book is Fugitive Days: A Memoir, (Beacon Press, 2001).

Martin Barlosky, University of Ottawa—Ottawa, Ontario
Martin Barlosky is assistant professor in the faculty of education at the University of Ottawa. He is co-founder of Democratic Dialogue. As a former senior administrator in higher education (Dean, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design) and as an active researcher concerned with developing alternative approaches to administration, organizations, and the knowledge we can have of each, Barlosky brings a philosophical and pragmatic perspective to Democratic Dialogue. A new scholar at the University of Ottawa (he completed his doctoral dissertation in educational administration at The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto in 1999 where he was awarded a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada), his research has focused upon the moral aspects of organizations and the role that values play in defining and actualizing leadership in educational settings. He has explored these themes in journal articles, essay reviews, and book chapters. First author (with Steve Lawton, Chairperson, Educational Administration and Community Leadership, Central Michigan University) of Developing Quality Schools: A Handbook, his most recent publication is the chapter “Leadership Study and Administrative Practice – Shall the Twain Ever Meet?” in Leadership for Quality Schooling: International Perspectives (Kam-cheung Wong & Colin Evers, editors) published in 2001 by Routledge/Falmer. He is currently completing a book length manuscript titled Educational Leadership Reconsidered: Towards Alternative Constructs of Administration, Organization, and Knowledge.

Dr. Barlosky’s concern with the evolution of educational and corporate organizations from systems of regulation and control to structures that give sense to individual experience, orientation to cooperative action, and meaning to shared accomplishment, will involve him in research that explores how leadership and organizational forms lend themselves to democratic practices and are challenged by democratic principles.

Robert Cohen, New York University—New York, New York
Robert Cohen is Director of the social studies program, a Professor of Education, and an affiliated member of the History department at New York University. Cohen received a Ph.D. in history at the University of California at Berkeley (1987). He has participated in several social studies reform projects in public schools from the suburbs of Atlanta to New York's Lower East Side. Cohen's first book, When the Old Left Was Young: Student Radicals and America's First Mass Student Movement (Oxford University Press, 1993) was chosen for Choice Magazine's list of Outstanding Academic Books for 1994. Cohen has published articles about social studies in Social Education and has recently edited books on the Berkeley Free Speech Movement of 1964 (University of California Press, 2002), Dear Mrs. Roosevelt: Letters From Children of the Great Depression (University of North Carolina Press, 2002), and the segregationist student protests of the early 1960s (forthcoming). Together with Pulitzer-Prize winning historian William McFeely, Cohen co-chaired a national conference on the history of race relations, "Civil Rights in Small Places," which probed the impact of the civil rights movement on the rural South.

Sharon Cook, University of Ottawa—Ottawa, Ontario
Sharon Cook is professor of education and a former teacher, school administrator and director of teacher education in the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa. She currently teaches in the pre-service program, the graduate sector and in the Department of History. Professor Cook is co-founder of Democratic Dialogue. She has published professional and academic articles in organizational, curricular and administrative studies at the secondary and post-secondary levels, and in the history of moral movements, particularly as these have been reflected in school curricula and socialization practices. Much of her work utilizes feminist epistemologies and perspectives, examining the particular impact of moral movements on young women, particularly those other than in the middle class. Her volume with McGill-Queen’s University Press, Through Sunshine and Shadow‚: the Woman‚s Christian Temperance Union, Evangelicalism, and Reform in Ontario, 1874-1930 (1995) examined the motivations, intellectual formation and strategies of women promoting moral education beyond the walls of the schoolhouse, while her most recent book, Framing Our Past‚: Canadian Women’s History in the Twentieth Century (edited with Lorna R. McLean & Kate O’Rourke) also with McGill-Queen’s University Press (2000) won the Canadian Association of Foundations of Education Book Prize for 2000-2002. It addresses the variety of routes to social activism taken by Canadian women who had neither the luxury of formal education nor wealth nor power to implement their civic agenda. By examining historical instances of exclusion in democratic societies, Dr. Cook’s work contributes to theoretical conceptualizations of the tensions inherent in implementing democratic ideals and practices. Her research interests will involve her in Democratic Dialogue projects that focus upon curriculum, social history, and feminist perspectives.

Joseph Kahne, Mills College—Oakland, California
Joseph Kahne is Professor of Education and Director of the Institute for Civic Leadership at Mills College where he also directs the doctoral program in Educational Leadership. He writes on urban school reform and on the democratic purposes of schooling. He publishes widely in education and political science journals and is recipient of the Palmer O. Johnson Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) for outstanding article in educational research. He is currently completing a study of ten programs from different parts of the country that seek to develop democratic values. His book, Reframing Educational Policy: Democracy, Community, and the Individual was published by Teachers College Press (1996). Professor Kahne holds a Masters degree in Political Science and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy from Stanford University.

Gordon Lafer, University of Oregon—Eugene, Oregon
Gordon Lafer is assistant professor of labor studies at University of Oregon’s Labor and Education Research Center. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University in 1995, following experience in policy issues as a special assistant for economic development in the mayor's office in New York City. He specializes in the study of labor and politics and was former senior researcher for the Building Trades Organizing Campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada and research director for the Federation of University Employees, Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees, at Yale University. Lafer combines an impressive academic background with on-the-ground experience with policy analysis. His recent book, The Job Training Charade (Cornell University Press, 2002) examines the politics of job training policies as anti-poverty programs and shows that such programs do not live up to their promise of enhancing economic well-being, but do serve a political function. Lafer has published in popular and scholarly journals on a range of labor and policy issues, including prison labor, political economy, welfare policy, and the job training system. This broad focus allows Lafer to span the disciplinary boundaries of political science, economics, and education policy. Publications representative of his research interests include: "The New Prison Labor," The American Prospect (1999), "Sleight of Hand: The Political Success and Economic Failure of Job Training Policy in the United States," International Journal of Manpower (1999), "Yale on Trial: Academic Life in the Age of Downsizing," Dissent, (1997), "The Politics of Job Training: Urban Poverty and the False Promise of JTPA., Politics and Society (1994).

Barbara Leckie, Carleton University - Ottawa, Ontario
Barbara Leckie is an associate professor of English and the associate director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies at Carleton University. She works on narratives of social reform in the Victorian period and print censorship in the Victorian and modernist periods. Her book, Culture and Adultery: the Novel, the Newspaper, and the Law, 1857-1914, considers the new democracy of print in mid-nineteenth-century England as it relates to representations of sexuality, adultery, and political change in the novel, journalism, and law. She is currently working on an edited collection of documents on censorship for obscene libel ("The Censorship Archives, 1814-1914") that addresses questions of print and democracy as they relate to socially and politically contested representations. She is also writing a book on narratives of social reform, housing for the poor, and the rise of the novel in nineteenth-century England ("Housing Debates: Architecture, Narrative Form, and the Democracy of Print, 1842-1892").

Pedro Antonio Noguera, New York University - New York
Pedro Noguera is a professor in the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University, the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and the co-Director of the Institute for the Study of  Globalization and Education in Metropolitan Settings (IGEMS).  An urban sociologist, Noguera’s scholarship and research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions in the urban environment.  Noguera has served as an advisor and engaged in collaborative research with several large urban school districts throughout the United States.  He has also done research on issues related to education and economic and social development in the Caribbean, Latin America and several other countries throughout the world.

Pedro Noguera has published over 150 research articles, monographs and research reports on topics such as urban school reform, conditions that promote student achievement, youth violence, the potential impact of school choice and vouchers on urban public schools, and race and ethnic relations in American society.  His work has appeared in several major research journals and many are available online at inmotionmagazine.com.  He is the author of The Imperatives of Power: Political Change and the Social Basis of Regime Support in Grenada (Peter Lang Publishers, 1997), City Schools and the American Dream (Teachers College Press 2003 – winner of Foreward Magazine Gold Award) and his most recent book is Unfinished Business: Closing the Achievement Gap in Our Nation’s Schools (Josey Bass, 2006). 

He is the recipient of the University of California’s Distinguished Teaching Award (1995), an honorary doctorate from the University of San Francisco (2001), the Centennial Medal from Philadelphia University (2001), the Eugene Corothers Award and the Whitney Young Award from the National Urban League for leadership in the field of education (2005).  Noguera is the father of four children and he has been married to his wife, Patricia Vattuone, for twenty-four years.

Joel Westheimer, University of Ottawa - Ottawa, Ontario
Joel Westheimer is University Research Chair and Associate Professor of Education at the University of Ottawa. He is co-founder and director of Democratic Dialogue. Previously he was a professor at New York University. A former New York City public schools teacher and musician, Westheimer teaches and writes on democracy, social justice, youth activism, service learning, and community. He is author of the 1998 book Among Schoolteachers (Teachers College Press). The research for this book won Cornell University's Jason Millman Award and New York University's Griffiths Award for excellence in educational research. He is currently engaged in a three-year study funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) titled "Civic Intentions: Schools that Teach Democratic Values." Westheimer is writing a new book, funded by the Surdna Foundation, on what schools and colleges can do to renew democracy in North America (co-authored with Joseph Kahne) and is guest editor of the April 2006 special issue of Phi Delta Kappan on Patriotism and Education. He lectures nationally and internationally on democracy and education, service learning, and academic freedom. He addresses radio and television audiences on shows such as Good Morning America, More to Life, and NBC News. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario where, in Winter, he ice-skates to and from work.

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Biographies of Research Associates

Kristina Llewellyn, University of Ottawa

Kristina R. Llewellyn recently completed a two-year SSHRC post-doctoral fellowship and is currently a research associate with Democratic Dialogue.  Her on-going post-doctoral research focuses on two projects: a social justice-oriented assessment of the current state of citizenship education in Canada, with particular attention to its gender dimensions; and an examination of global citizenship programs for Canadian youth from 1945 to the present, drawing upon feminist critical pedagogy and decolonizing methodologies.  In 2006, Kristina completed her Ph.D. in Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia, where she also taught at the Centre for Research in Women’s Studies and Gender Relations.  Her SSHRC-supported doctoral study, and first book manuscript, explores the role of women teachers as citizenship educators in post-WWII Toronto and Vancouver secondary schools.  Kristina’s work has been published in such journals as Historical Studies in Education, Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies, and Atlantis.  During Kristina’s time with Democratic Dialogue, she will expand upon her research in the areas of citizenship education, history of education, and gender studies. 

Lorna McLean, University of Ottawa

Lorna McLean is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa; her main research areas include citizenship, culture, gender and education. Her work integrates the multifaceted ways that citizenship and culture intersect with gender and education in both historical and contemporary contexts. Her co-edited book, Framing Our Past: Canadian Women’s History in the Twentieth Century (495 pp.) won the 2002 Canadian Association for Foundations in Education, a national book award. A current project explores the historical origins of citizenship education in early modern Canada (1900-1950). She plans to publish a monograph on the topic. Dr. McLean’s work on citizenship and culture extends to contemporary research on global education in a Teacher Education Program. She was a principal investigator on a collaborative Canadian International Development Agency project, “Developing a Global Perspective for Educators.” Professor McLean will be heading up the research component of the project in 2004-2005. An additional dimension of this initiative will evaluate the effectiveness of a global education program for promoting understandings of multiculturalism, racism and anti-racism.

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