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Heather M Voke


Visiting Assistant Professor
Director, Program in Education, Inquiry, and Social Justice Senior Scholar, Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship Fellow, Education Initiatives, Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service


Department of Philosophy
General profile


+1 202-687-7516



Heather Voke's expertise is in the areas of philosophy of education, education policy, and pedagogy. Her research interests focus on theories of democracy, their implications for education, and the attributes of instructional environments that promote acquisition of the skills, understandings, and attitudes needed to engage in public life and promote justice within democratic societies.

She has been involved with school reform and education policy initiatives at the local, state, and national levels, and has taught at levels from kindergarten through graduate school.

Her professional career has included a leadership position within the California Teachers union, serving as a policy analyst for one of the nation's leading education non-profit organizations, and the publication of numerous journal articles and policy briefs on topics ranging from John Dewey's theory of knowledge to school vouchers to sex education.

She is the Director of the newly formed Program in Education, Inquiry, and Social Justice, in which students and faculty consider foundational questions related to education and schooling through the lenses of the liberal arts disciplines and through courses that integrate academic instruction with immersion in community-based learning experiences.

She is the Fellow for Education Initiatives in the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service. In this role, she serves as a liaison for the development of research and instructional collaborations between members of the Georgetown University community and those engaged in work related to education in the metro D.C. area. She is also a Senior Scholar for Teaching and Learning in the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship. There, she teaches workshops that help faculty learn how to integrate new ways of teaching and learning into their courses and scholarship.

Over the last several years, she and her students have been engaged in community based teaching and research activities in partnership with students and teachers in a low-performing public high school in Southeast D.C. She is currently working with the D.C. Public School System on a revision of the District's standards for the accreditation of programs for teacher education.

She is writing a book about the meanings of the concept of public as it relates to education, and innovative ways to structure teaching and learning that would preserve the publicness of education while avoiding the systemic injustices that are built into the current public school system.


  • PhD (2002) Indiana University, Philosophy of Education/Policy Studies in Educatio
  • MS (1995) National University, Leadership in Curriculum and Instruction
  • BA (1991) St. John's College, Philosophy/Classics