Joel Westheimer has teamed up with John Rogers from UCLA to conduct a mixed-methods longitudinal study examining what high schools in the United States, Canada, and Mexico teach students about the critical issue of rising economic inequality. The project is funded in part by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Ford Foundation in the United States. 

Joel Westheimer co-founded and served as executive director for seven years of Democratic Dialogue, a group of researchers dedicated to the critical exploration of democratic ideals in education and society.