Diana Hess

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CONTACTING US

Main Office

Curriculum & Instruction
School of Education
UW-Madison
210 Teacher Education Building
225 North Mills Street
MadisonWI  53706

Tel: 608/263.4600
Fax: 608/263.9992

Email: curric@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form
 

D. Hess

Profile Photo

D. Hess

Dean
Deans Office
Curriculum and Instruction (CI)

377 Education Building  binoculars icon
1000 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
Fax: 608/265-2512

dhess@wisc.edu
Website

Personal Biography

Diana Hess became dean of UW-Madison’s School of Education on Aug. 1, 2015. Hess, only the ninth dean of the School of Education since its founding in 1930, comes to this post after serving as senior vice president of the Spencer Foundation in Chicago since September 2011. The Spencer Foundation funds research to improve education policy and practice. Hess, however, is no stranger to UW-Madison. She first arrived on campus in 1999 to join the School’s No. 1-ranked Department of Curriculum and Instruction as an assistant professor. She climbed the ranks, becoming an associate professor in 2005 and a full professor in 2009 before taking a leave from the university to work at Spencer. In 2015, Hess co-authored with Paula McAvoy, “The Political Classroom: Evidence and Ethics in Democratic Education.” Her research interests include the impact of school-based civic education programs on youth, political and civic engagement, and how students experience and learn from discussions of highly controversial political issues. A previous book, “Controversy in the Classroom: The Democratic Power of Discussion,” won the National Council for the Social Studies Exemplary Research Award in 2009. Hess began her education career as a high school social studies teacher in Downers Grove, Illinois, in 1979. During her time there, she became president of the Downers Grove teachers’ union before working as the associate director of the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago from 1987-95. Hess next headed to the University of Washington-Seattle, where she earned her Ph.D. in 1998 from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, with extensive coursework in educational policy and law. Hess also holds a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University.


Education

Ph D, Curriculum and Instruction in Social Studies, Educational Policy and Law
University of Washington

MA,
University of Illinois

BA,
Western Illinois University


 

 

Scheduled Teaching

  • Professor Hess is currently on leave from the University and is the Senior Vice President of the Spencer Foundation.
     

Research Interests

1. The impact of school-based democratic education programs on youth political engagement. 2. The ideological content of social studies curriculum. 3. How students experience and learn from discussions of highly controversial political issues.

Grants and Sponsorships

  • 2004-2010 - Amount: $408,000.00, "Discussing Controversial Issues Study," Awarded By: The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, The Watson Institue at Brown University, The Carnegie Corporation of New York, The McCormick Foundation, The Spencer Foundation, The Graduate School of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, D. Hess, Principal.
    Abstract: A five-year longitudinal study about how deliberating controversial issues in high school courses influences the civic learning and participation of young people.
  • 2002 - Amount: $13,000.00, "Conflicts In Democracy Education: Using Post 9-11 Curricula To Illuminate The Theoretical Terrain.," Awarded By: The Graduate School of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sponsor Type: University of Wisconsin-Madison, D. Hess.
  • 1999 - Amount: $44,580.00, "How Students Experience And Learn From Discussions Of Controversial Political Issues," Awarded By: The Spencer Foundation's Competitive Small Grants Program, Sponsor Type: University of Wisconsin-Madison, D. Hess.

Publications

  • Hess, D. Courting democracy: Teaching about constitutions, courts and cases. Manuscript in preparation. New York: Routledge.
  • Hess, D., & McAvoy, P. (2015). The political classroom: Ethics and evidence in democratic education. New York: Routledge.
  • Hess, D., & McAvoy, P. (in press). Classroom deliberation in an era of political polarization. Curriculum Inquiry. 43(1), 14-47.
  • Avery, P., & Hess, D. The Nature and status of civic education in the United States: Looking at the Civic Mission of the Schools six promising pedagogical practices. Manuscript in preparation.
  • Hess, D., & Stoddard, J. (2011). 9/11 in the curriculum: A retrospective. The Social Studies. 102(4), 175-179.
    Download Publication
  • Hess, D. (2011). Discussions that drive democracy. Educational Leadership. 69(1), 69-73.
    Download Publication
  • Stoddard, J., Hess, D., & Hammer, C. (2011). The challenges of writing "first draft history": The evolution of the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath in school textbooks in the United States. In L. Yates & M. Grumet (Eds.), 2011 world yearbook of education: Curriculum in the today's world: Identities, politics, work and knowledge, (pp. 223-235). New York, USA: Routledge.
    Download Publication
  • Stoddard, J., & Hess, D. (2011). Fact Sheet: 9/11 and the War on Terror in curricula and state standard documents. Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning (CIRCLE).
    Online Publication/Abstract
  • McLeod, J., Hess, D., Shah, D., & Lee, N. (2010). Communication and education: Creating competence for socialization into public life. In L. Sherrod (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Civic Engagement of Youth, (pp. 363-391). Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Download Publication
  • Hess, D. (2009). Controversy in the classroom: The democratic power of discussion. New York: Routledge.

Presentations

  • Hess, D. (2012). The political classroom: What makes discussion democratic?, Keynote Address, Loyola University, Chicago, IL.
  • Hess, D. (2011). When is an issue really an issue?, Keynote Address, Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, Oak Brook, IL.
  • Hess, D. (2011). Constitution Day 2011: Building on the legacy of Isadore Starr, the Father of law-related education, Seattle University School of Law, Seattle, WA.
  • Hess, D. (2011). Why controversial content belongs in the social studies, Inquiring Minds: Active Citizens, SocCon, Wellington, New Zealand.
  • McAvoy, P., Hess, D., & Kawashima-Ginsberg, K. (2011). How do students experience and learn from high quality discussion of political issues?, Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans.
  • Hess, D. (2010). Teaching controversial issues for social studies, Presentation for Ministry of Education Officials, National Institute of Education, Singapore.
  • Hess, D., & McAvoy, P. (2010). Controversy three ways: What students experience and learn from discussions of racially charged issues., Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO.
  • McAvoy, P., & Hess, D. (2010). Evidence, ethics, and teacher disclosure., Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO.
  • Hess, D. (2009). Calling all national board certified teachers and university researchers, Annual Meeting of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies, Atlanta, GA.
  • Hess, D. (2009). Maximizing the democratic potential of schools as ideologically diverse publics spaces, Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA.
  • Hess, D. (2008). Beyond the Election: Keeping Students Engaged, Keynote Address, Annual Illinois Law-Related Education Conference, Constitutional Rights Foundation, Oak Brook, IL.
  • Hess, D. (2008). Teacher Disclosure, Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, American Educational Research Association, New York, NY.
  • Hess, D., McAvoy, P., & Hwang, H. (2008). The Nature, Range, and impact of Ideological Diversity and Teacher Disclosure in High School Democratic Education Courses, Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, American Educational Research Association, New York, NY.
  • Hess, D. (2007). The Democracy Divide, Keynote Address, Center for Education in Law and Democracy, Denver, CO.

Departmental Service

  • Student Awards Committee of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction
    Dates of Membership: 2007 - 2009
  • Committee Chair. Period of Service: 2007 - 2009

  • Student Awards Committee of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction
    Dates of Membership: 2003 - 2006
  • Committee Chair. Period of Service: 2005 - 2006

  • Personnel Committee of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction
    Dates of Membership: 1999 - 2002
  • Committee Member. Period of Service: 1999 - 2002

School Service

  • Coordinating Committee on Teacher Education
    Dates of Membership: 2007 - 2009
  • Chair. Period of Service: 2007 - 2009

Public Service

  • Civics Advisory Committee of the Spencer Foundation
    Dates of Membership: 2011 - Pres.

  • American Educational Research Journal
    Dates of Membership: 2010 - Pres.
  • Editorial Review Board Member. Period of Service: 2010 - Pres.

  • Research Advisory Committee of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE)
    Dates of Membership: 2009 - 2012
  • Member. Period of Service: 2009 - 2012

  • Education, Citizenship, and Social Justice
    Dates of Membership: 2005 - Pres.
  • Editor, Associate Editor. Period of Service: 2005 - Pres.

  • Madison West High School Professional Development School Program
    Dates of Membership: 2005 - Pres.
  • Liaison from UW-Madison. Period of Service: 2005 - Pres.

  • Theory and Research in Social Education
    Dates of Membership: 2004 - 2010
  • Editorial Review Board Member. Period of Service: 2004 - 2007
  • Editorial Review Board Member. Period of Service: 2010 - 2010

  • Standing Committee for the National Assessment of Educational Progress Civics Exam (NAEP)
    Dates of Membership: 2003 - 2006
  • Committee Member.

  • Professional Development Programs for Secondary Teachers
    Dates of Membership: 1999 - Pres.
    Accomplishments: Taught and developed numerous programs for secondary teachers in the U.S. and other nations (England, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, New Zealand).
  • Workshop Organizer.

Awards and Honors

  • The Squire Foundation Award for Paper on Pre-College Ethics
    Organization: The Squire Foundation
    Purpose: Scholarship/Research
    Description: Award received for paper entitled "The Evidence and Ethics of Teacher Disclosure."
    Date(s): March 2011
  • Exemplary Research in Social Studies
    Organization: National Council for the Social Studies
    Purpose: Scholarship/Research
    Description: Award received for book entitled "Controversy in the classroom: The democratic power of discussion."
    Date(s): 2009
  • Most Learned Article
    Organization: Education Press
    Purpose: Scholarship/Research
    Description: Award received for article entitled "From Banished to Brother Outsider, Miss Navajo to an Inconvenient Truth: Documentary films as perspective-laden narratives."
    Date(s): 2007

Memberships

  • American Educational Research Association
  • College and University Faculty of the National Council of the Social Studies
  • National Council for the Social Studies
  • Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies
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