Walter Parker
Professor of Social Studies Education


  • Advanced placement
  • Curriculum
  • Engagement
  • Social studies

Walter Parker is a professor of social studies education at the University of Washington who specializes in social studies curriculum and instruction and the civic development of youth. His books include “Educating the Democratic Mind,” “Education for Democracy: Curricula, Contexts, Assessments,” “Teaching Democracy: Unity and Diversity in Public Life,” “Social Studies in Elementary Education,” and “Social Studies Today: Research and Practice.” Parker is currently working on two studies. One aims to create a more engaging, authentic and rigorous form of advanced high school coursework — one that doesn’t mistake superficial “coverage” at a fast pace for meaningful learning. Through that study, Parker and teacher-collaborators have developed a project-based approach to the high school Advanced Placement government course. His other ongoing study examines civic education in the U.S. and elsewhere. A former high school teacher, Parker is a fellow of the American Educational Research Association and has received the Exemplary Research Award from the National Council for the Social Studies.