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Associate Professor of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jon Hale’s research focuses on the history of American education, specifically the history of student and teacher activism, education reform during the Civil Rights Movement, and the intersection of race and policy in the field of education. His award-winning book, The Freedom Schools, examines the history of Mississippi student activism during the Civil Rights Movement. Hale’s other research interests include the desegregation of K-12 education, the history of grassroots education reform efforts, and the origins of school choice. Hale is also interested in public and oral history as a means to document the history of American education through community engagement. Hale has won a dissertation and a postdoctoral award from the Spencer Foundation and the National Academy of Education.


  • 2020–present
    Associate professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign