College of Education & Human Services

James LaPrad. Ph.D.

James LaPrad. Ph.D.

Professor of Social Foundations of Education

Office: Horrabin Hall 115M
Phone: 309-298-1436
Email: JG-LaPrad@wiu.edu

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. La Prad is a Professor of Philosophical and Social Foundations of Education at Western Illinois University teaching courses in the social foundations of education from philosophical, historical, legal, and socio-cultural perspectives to teacher candidates, in-service teachers, and educational leaders. His research, scholarship and practice include critical pedagogy in teaching and learning environments, experiential education, educational ethics, multicultural education, transformative educational leadership and P-12 educational reform. He is a former high school and middle school teacher, Outward Bound instructor and big brother with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. He is currently serving as a board member for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Warren and McDonough Counties and the Macomb Community Unit School District #185 Board of Education.

His 2015 publications highlight educational reform possibilities: The Coalition of Essential Schools and Rural Educational Reform in The Rural Educator, 36(3) and Mindfulness, Democracy, and Education in Democracy and Education, 23(2), co-authored with Dr. Andrea Hyde. This research supports his belief that educational leaders and teachers are the most important resources we possess. They need our continued support and empowerment to lead and teach in new and creative ways that engage and motivate ALL our students to be productive citizens, an endeavor critical to the growth and well-being of our community. His most recent 2017 publication co-authored with Dr. Andrea Hyde, IDEAS: A Qualitative Inquiry into Project-Based Learning in The Qualitative Report, 22(2) highlights these educational possibilities in the study of a particular learning methodology.

In 2008, the National Society for Experiential Education honored him as NSEE’s Experiential Education Higher Education Leader of the Year.

Prior to his current appointment, Dr. La Prad taught middle school math and science for the Discovery Program, a nationally recognized "school within a school" experiential and integrated curriculum program for a heterogeneous population that emphasized academic, physical, and emotional learning equally. Additionally, he has worked with the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School in Maine and North Carolina Outward Bound School.


Dr. Jim La Prad joined the Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies Department, now Department of Educational Studies, in August of 2003. Dr. La Prad's area of specialization is Philosophy of Education. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the social and philosophical foundations of education. His research, scholarship and practice include critical pedagogy in teaching and learning environments, experiential education, educational ethics, moral education, multicultural education and transformative educational leadership. In 2008, the National Society for Experiential Education honored him as NSEE’s Experiential Education Higher Education Leader of the Year. Dr. La Prad teaches EDS 302 -Multicultural and Social Foundations of Education; EDS 401-Educational Law and Policy; EIS 501-Philosophy of Education; EIS 607-Implications of Diversity for Educational Leaders and EDS 747- Politics of Education.