Jessica Heybach Vivirito, Ed.D.

Jessica ViviritoAssistant Professor of Education
Office Location: INST 224
Telephone Number: 630-844-5782
Email Address:

Teaching Philosophy
Education is never a neutral endeavor; rather, it is always for something and moving toward some established end. Often, these ends do not leave adequate space for students to be active participants in their own education. As a result, I feel the ethical role of an educator should be to create a classroom community that encourages risk, questioning, open debate, and intellectual creativity.  My hope is that students leave my classroom with more questions than answers, a greater appreciation for the complexities of lived-experience, and a belief that they have significant agency to influence the world around them.

EdD Curriculum Leadership, Northern Illinois University
MSEd Social Foundations of Education, Northern Illinois University
MSEd Elementary Education, Northern Illinois University
BA Art and Design, DePaul University

Areas of Specialization
Qualitative Inquiry
Curriculum Theory
Teacher Identity
Democratic Education
Philosophy of Education
Visual Culture in Education

Courses Taught
EDU7010/8010: Introduction to Educational Research
EDU7910/8910: Qualitative Research
EDU8080: Curriculum Design I
EDU3350: Diversity, Democracy, and Social Justice for Teachers
EDU3330: Science Inquiry Methods
EDU3440/EDU 5440: Middle School Mission and Methods
EDU2200: Foundation of Education
IDS1610 Being Human: Ethics and Morality  

Highlights of Publications, Honors and Professional Contributions
Heybach, J. A. (2014). Troubling Neutrality: Toward a Philosophy of Teacher Ambiguity. Philosophical Studies in Education, 45, 43-54.                         

Heybach, J. A. & Sheffield, E. C. (2014). Dystopian Schools: Recovering Dewey’s Radical Aesthetics in an Age of Utopia-Gone-Wrong. Education and Culture, 30(1), Article 6.

Heybach, J. A. & Sheffield, E.C. (2014). Creating Citizens in a Capitalistic Democracy: A Struggle for the Soul of American Citizenship Education. In Citizenship Education Around the World: Global Perspectives, Local Practices. Eds., Petrovic, J. & Kuntz, A. New York: Routledge, 66-86.

Heybach, J. A. & Sheffield, E. C. (Eds). (2013). Dystopia and Education: Insights for Theory, Praxis, and Policy in an Age of Utopia-Gone-Wrong. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. (American Educational Studies Association Critics Choice Award Winner)

Heybach, J. A. (2012). Learning to Feel What We See: Critical Aesthetics and “Difficult Knowledge” in an Age of War. Critical Questions in Education, 3(1), 23-34.                         

Heybach, J. A. & Sheffield, E. C. (2011). (Re)Imagining Activism: Educating Teachers for Change. A Critical Civic Literacy Reader. Ed., Joe DeVitis. New York: Peter Lang, 475-487.

Heybach, J. A. (2009). Rescuing Social Justice in Education: A Critique of the NCATE Controversy.  Philosophical Studies in Education, 40, 234-245.                                                                      

Professional Organizations
American Educational Studies Association
American Association for University Professors
John Dewey Society
Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society
Southeast Philosophy of Education Society

Highlights of Campus Involvement
Faculty Senate, Assessment Committee