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Portrait of Jennifer VanSledright

Contact Information

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Office Location

110 Carlton Street
Athens, Georgia 30602


Degree Concentration Institution Year
PhD Teacher Education and Professional Development University of Maryland, College Park 2006
MEd Elementary Education George Washington University, Washington DC 1997
BA Foreign Affairs and French Language The University of Virginia 1995

Awards and Accolades

Year Award From
2014 Ira Aaron Award for Excellence in Teaching and Collegiality University of Georgia, College of Education

Areas of Expertise

  • Civic Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Social Studies Education
  • Teacher Education
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Early Childhood Education

Research Interests

  • Civic Education
  • Teacher Education

Research Summary

My scholarship focuses on critical democratic education, particularly within the fields of social studies education, elementary education and teacher education.


Selected Publications


  • James, J. H. with Schweber, S., Kunzman, R., Barton, K. C., and Logan, K. (2015). Religion in the Classroom: Dilemmas for Democratic Education. Routledge.
  • Iverson, S. V. and James, J. H. (Eds.) (2015). Feminist Community Engagement: Achieving Praxis. Palgrave.

Articles and Chapters

  • Zhao, X. & James, J. H. (In Press). Children's civic agency and spatiality. Citizenship, Teaching & Learning.
  • James, J. H., Kobe, J., & Zhao, X. (In Press). Examining the role of trust in shaping children's approaches to peer dialogue. Teachers College Record.
  • James, J. H. (2015). Religious belief and the framing of teachers' approaches to controversy in the classroom in the United States. In Misco, T. and de Groof, J. (Eds.) Cross-cultural case studies of teaching controversial issues: Pathways and challenges to democratic citizenship education.
  • James, J. H., Kobe, J. F., Shealey, G., Foretich, R., & Sabatini, E., (2015). Authentic collaborative inquiry: Toward understanding children's civic mindfulness in the 21st century. School-University Partnerships 8(2), 53-61.
  • Iverson, S. V., and James, J. H. (2013). Self-authoring a civic identity: A qualitative analysis of change-oriented service learning. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 50(1), 88-105.
  • James, J. H. (2011). When missions collide: Theological certainty and democratic education. Phi Delta Kappan, 93(4), 28-32.
  • James, J. H. (2011). Caring for "others": Examining the interplay of mothering and deficit discourses in teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28, 165-173.
  • James, J. H. (2010). "Democracy is the devil's snare": Theological certainty and democratic teacher education. Theory and Research in Social Education, 38(4), 298-316.
  • James, J. H. (2010). Teachers as mothers in the elementary classroom: Negotiating the needs of self and other. Gender and Education, 22(5), 521-534.
  • Iverson, S. V., and James, J. H. (2010). Becoming "effective" citizens? Change-oriented service in a teacher education program. Innovative Higher Education, 35(1), 19-35.
  • James, J. H., and Iverson, S. V. (2009). Striving for critical citizenship in a teacher education program: Problems and possibilities. Michigan Journal of Community Service-Learning, 16(1), 33-46.
  • James, J. H., and McVay, M. (2009). Critical literacy for young citizens: First graders investigate the first Thanksgiving. Early Childhood Education Journal, 36(4), 347-354.
  • James, J. H. (2008). Teachers as protectors: Making sense of methods students' resistance to interpretation in elementary history teaching. Theory and Research in Social Education, 36(3), 172-205.
  • James, J. H. (2008). Autobiography, teacher education and (the possibility of) social justice. The Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 4(2), 161-176.
  • James, J. (2008). Making sense of place: Sarah's story. Early Childhood Education Journal, 35, 413-418.

Courses Taught

  • ESOC 8990, Research Seminar in Social Studies Education
  • ESOC 3420, Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary School
  • ESOC 7/5020, Teaching History
  • ESOC 7050, Problems in Social Studies Education
  • ESSE 6/4000, Special Topics: Hunger in Our Schools
  • FYOS 1001, Freshman Odyssey Course: For the Love of Reading
  • FYOS 1001, Freshman Odyssey Course: Learning with Young Children
  • ESOC 9700, Seminar in Social Studies Teacher Education
  • ESOC 9600, Special Topics: Dialogue and Difference
  • ESOC 6/4400, Teaching Social Studies in the Middle School

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