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Phillip J VanFossen

Interim Dean, College of Education // J.F. Ackerman Professor of Social Studies Education // Director, Ackerman Center // Associate Director, Purdue Center for Economic Education, Purdue University

Phillip J. VanFossen serves as the Interim Dean, the James F. Ackerman Professor of Social Studies Education, and as the Director of the James F. Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship in the College of Education at Purdue University. He also serves as the Associate Director of the Purdue University Center for Economic Education where he teaches introductory economics courses for the Economics department. The Ackerman Center focuses on K-12 student and teacher engagement around civic literacy. Major programming includes the recent professional development series ‘Citizen Literacy’ which included session on critical media literacy, ‘fake news,’ and the history of elections in the US (

The author of more than 90 scholarly works—including a high school economics textbook--his research interests include how economics and social studies teachers use the Internet and digital media in their teaching. VanFossen has conducted more than two dozen workshops on the intersection between civic and economic education in six eastern European and Baltic countries, South Africa, and Indonesia.


  • –present
    J.F. Ackerman Professor of Social Studies Education; Director, Ackerman Center; Assoc. Director Purdue Ctr. for Economic Ed., Purdue University


  • 1994 
    The Ohio State University, PhD/Economic and Social Studies Education