Outstanding Book Award
Outstanding Book Award


2016 Award Recipients

Diana E. Hess
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Paula McAvoy
University of Wisconsin, Madison

The Political Classroom: Evidence and Ethics in Democratic Education.


The Political Classroom gives attention to an essential component of democratic education: how teachers can develop students’ ability to deliberate on political questions. Based on the findings of a large, mixed-methods study of high school discussions of political issues, Dr. Diana E. Hess and Dr. Paula McAvoy present in-depth and engaging cases of the pedagogical challenges and ethical dilemmas raised in the classroom. Paying particular attention to how political polarization and social inequality affect classroom dynamics, the authors promote a coherent plan for providing students with a nonpartisan political education and for improving the quality of classroom deliberations. They argue that teachers will make better professional judgments if they aim to create “political classrooms,” which engage students in deliberations about issues surrounding the question, How should we live together?


The AERA Council established this award for the best book-length publication in educational research and development. To be considered for the Award, a book must be concerned with the improvement of the educational process through research or scholarly inquiry, must have a research base, and must have a copyright date of the past two years in the year in which the award is to be given. 

A book may be nominated by the author or by another scholar. The book may have been published anywhere in the world but must be available in English. No edited volumes are considered for the award. 

Past Recipients

2015 - David P. Baker
2014 - David L. Kirp
2013 - Christopher P. Loss
2012 - Valerie Kinloch
2011 - Richard R. Valencia
2010 - Jeffrey R. Henig - Spin Cycle: How Research Is Used in Policy Debates: The Case of Charter Schools
2009 - Paul Attewell & David E. Lavin - Passing the Torch: Does Higher Education for the Disadvantaged Pay Off Across the Generations?
2008 - C. J. Pascoe - Dude, You're a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School
2007 - Rami Benbenishty & Ron Avi Astor - School Violence in Context
2006 - William G. Bowen, Martin A. Kurzweil & Eugene M. Tobin -Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education 
2005 - Mica Pollock - Colormute: Race Talk Dilemmas in an American School, and Frederick D. Erickson -Talk and Social Theory
2004 - Amy J. Binder - Contentious Curricula: Afrocentrism and Creationism in American Public Schools 
2003 - No award made
2002 - Robin Alexander - Culture & Pedagogy 
2001 - Jeannie Oakes, Karen Hunter Qurtz, Steve Ryan and Martin Lipton - Becoming Good American Schools 
2000 - Angela Valenzuela -Subtractive Schooling: U.S. Mexican Youth and the Politics of Caring 
1999 - John M. Willinsky - Learning to Divide the World: Education at Empire's End 
1998 - Linda Darling-Hammond -The Right to Learn 
1997 - L. Scott Miller - An American Imperative 
1996 - David C. Berliner & Bruce J. Biddle - The Manufactured Crisis 
1995 - Jeffrey Mirel - The Rise and Fall of an Urban School System: Detroit 1970-1981 
1994 - No Award Given
1993 - Joan DelFattore & Jonathan Kozol
1992 - David B. Tyack, Elizabeth Hansot, Teun A. Van Dijk & Idit Harel
1991 - Stephen Brint & Jerome Karabel
1990 - James D. Anderson
1989 - Burton R. Clark & David F. Labaree
1988 - James C. Coleman & Thomas Hoffer
1987 - Robert J. Sternberg
1986 - David John Hogan
1985 - John I. Goodlad
1984 - Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot, Teun A. Van Dijk & Walter Kintsch
1983 - Stephen Jay Gould & CarolGilligan

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