Professor Judith Pace

Judith L. Pace

Professor, Teacher Education

Full-Time Faculty

(415) 422-5189 Education (ED) 215


Judith L. Pace is a Professor in the Teacher Education Department at the University of San Francisco’s School of Education. She is a qualitative researcher who examines classroom teaching and curriculum — focusing on social studies — and its relationship to diversity, democracy, and sociopolitical contexts. She has studied classroom authority relationships and academic engagement, teaching for democratic citizenship in government classes, social studies under high stakes accountability, and teacher preparation for teaching controversial issues. Her last study was conducted in Northern Ireland, England, and the Midwestern U.S., and she is fascinated by curriculum and teaching in politically divided and post-conflict societies.

Prior to USF, Dr. Pace worked at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she earned her doctorate. She worked with teachers, school leaders, and researchers on project-based learning, portfolio assessment, teaching for understanding, and comprehensive school reform. Before that, she taught in special education, progressive, and middle school programs in Boston area schools.

Visiting Scholar, 2016–2017
Teacher Education Department Chair, 2013–2016
Coordinator of MAT master's courses, 2012–present
EdD, Harvard University
CAS, Harvard University
MEd, Lesley College
BA, Brandeis University
K-12 Teacher in special education and progressive settings in the Boston area
Researcher and developer, Harvard Project Zero
Teacher education
Social studies education
Teaching controversial issues and contested history
Classroom relationships, curriculum, and teaching in the sociopolitical contexts of schooling
Selected Publications

Pace, J. L. (2021). Hard Questions: Learning to Teach Controversial Issues. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Pace, J. L. (2019). Contained risk-taking: Preparing pre-service teachers to teach controversial issues in three countries. Theory & Research in Social Education, 47.

Pace, J. L. (2015). The Charged Classroom: Predicaments and Possibilities for Democratic Teaching. New York, NY: Routledge.

Bixby J. & Pace, J. L. (Eds.). (2008). Educating Democratic Citizens in Troubled Times: Qualitative Studies of Current Efforts. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Pace, J. L. & Hemmings, A. (Eds.). (2006). Classroom Authority: Theory, Research, and Practice. New York, NY: Routledge.

Awards & Distinctions

Spencer Foundation Research Communications Grant, 2021

Spencer Foundation Research Grant, 2016-2017

Jesuit Foundation Research Grant, University of San Francisco, 2004 – 2005

Spencer Foundation Research Training Grant, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 1995- 1998

Select Media Apperiences

Visions of Education podcast Hard Questions with Judy Pace

Education for Sustainable Democracy podcast Contained Risk-taking with Judy Pace

This Week in California Teaching Controversial Issues with Pedro Noguera and Judy Pace


Learning and Teaching

Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice

Curriculum Currents and Controversies

Curriculum Development and Design

Teaching Controversies

Qualitative Research