Educational Studies

La PradJames La Prad



Horrabin Hall 115M

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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.