Joel Westheimer is University Research Chair in Democracy and Education at the University of Ottawa and an education columnist for CBC Radio. 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 What Kind of Citizen? Educating Our Children for the Common Good (Teachers College, Columbia University Press), 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.
Westheimer lectures widely and has delivered more than 400 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. He is designated Laureate of Kappa Delta Pi, the international education honor society established in 1911 to foster excellence in education (past members include Margaret Mead, Albert Einstein, and Jean Piaget). Westheimer is also recipient of the Canadian Education Association's Whitworth Award and Knight Fellow for Civic Engagement in Higher Education and serves on the Royal Society of Canada’s Children and Schools COVID-19 Working Group. He also co-directs (with John Rogers, UCLA) The Inequality Project, investigating what North American schools are teaching about economic inequality.
He lives in Ottawa, Ontario where, in winter, he ice-skates to and from work.