Joel Westheimer is University Research Chair in Democracy and Education at the University of Ottawa. He is also the education columnist for CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning and Ontario Today shows. He began his career teaching in the New York City Public School system before obtaining a PhD from Stanford University. Westheimer's award-winning books include Pledging Allegiance: The Politics of Patriotism in America's Schools foreword by the late Howard Zinn) and Among School Teachers: Community, Autonomy and Ideology in Teachers’ Work. His newest critically acclaimed book is What Kind of Citizen? Educating Our Children for the Common Good (Teachers College Press, 2015).
Westheimer lectures widely and has delivered more than 200 keynote speeches at conferences, public events, and universities including Harvard University, Stanford University, Yale University, Columbia University, New York University, University of Toronto, McGill University, University of Amsterdam, Instituto Federal Electoral de México, and Mandel Institute (Israel). He frequently addresses radio and television audiences nationally and internationally on shows such as Good Morning America, More to Life, The Agenda, NBC TV News, NPR, CBC, and C-Span. In 2015, he was designated a laureate of Kappa Delta Pi, the international education honor society established in 1911 to foster excellence in education. Westheimer is also recipient of the Canadian Education Association's Whitworth Award and Knight Fellow for Civic Engagement in Higher Education.
He lives in Ottawa, Ontario with his wife and two children. In winter, he ice-skates to and from work.