Curriculum and Instruction (CI)
256 Teacher Education Building
225 N. Mills Street
Madison, WI 53706
Diana Hess is a professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since fall of 2011 she has been on leave from the University and is the Senior Vice President of the Spencer Foundation (see external website).
Formerly, Professor Hess was a high school teacher, teachers’ union president, and the associate executive director of the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago. Hess earned a Ph.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle, advised by Professor Walter Parker. She joined the faculty of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in January of 1999.
Professor Hess researches 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. Professor Hess also investigates the ideological messages embedded in high school textbooks and other forms of curriculum. She has recently completed a study of what curricula communicate about terrorism and about 9/11 and its aftermath. She is currently writing two other books about controversial issues and civic education, The Political Classroom: Evidence and Ethics in Democratic Education which is co-authored by Paula McAvoy and will be published in 2013. The next book, Courting Democracy: Teaching About Constitutions, Courts, and Cases, will be published in 2014.
Ph D, Curriculum and Instruction in Social Studies, Educational Policy and Law
University of Washington
University of Illinois
Western Illinois University