Sam Wineburg

Sam Wineburg

Faculty Webpage
Stanford History Education Group

(650) 725-4411

School of Education
485 Lasuen Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-3096

Margaret Jacks Professor of Education

Graduate School of Education


Sam Wineburg's work engages questions of identity and history in modern society: how today's youth use the past to construct individual and collective identities. He holds a PhD from Stanford in Psychological Studies in Education and an honorary doctorate from Sweden’s UmeĆ„ University. Over the last fifteen years his interests have spanned a wide terrain, from how adolescents and professional historians interpret primary sources to issues of teacher assessment and teacher community in the workplace. His book, Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts, won the 2002 Frederic W. Ness Award from the Association of American Colleges and Universities for the book "that best illuminates the goals and practices of a contemporary liberal education." Wineburg directs Stanford’s PhD program in History Education, and is at the forefront of open source educational materials; his Reading like a Historian curriculum has had nearly a million downloads since its inception in 2010. His research has been featured on C-SPAN, NPR, German Public Radio, and Israel’s Reset Aleph, and stories about his work have appeared in newspapers across the country, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the New Yorker . In  2004 he was named as Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) and a “Distinguished Lecturer” by the Organization of American Historians. In 2007, he was awarded the American Historical  Association’s “William Gilbert Prize” and in 2008 the “James Harvey Robinson Prize.” In 2013, he served at the Fulbright-Nehru Distinguished Chair at the University of North Bengal, India.

  •  Teaching History (Ed 268)
  • History, Memory, and Identity (Ed 356x)
  • Scholarly Writing in Education & the Social Sciences (Ed 385x)
  • Howard Zinn and the Search for Historical Truth (Ed 105C --freshman seminar)
  • Qualitative Research Methods in Education (Ed 250C)
  • New forms of assessment to measure historical understanding
  • The creation of Web-based environments for the learning and teaching of history
  • Longitudinal study on the development of historical consciousness among adolescents in three communities

Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past (Philadelphia: Temple, 2001),

Reading Like a Historian: Teaching Literacy in Middle and High School Classrooms (New York: TC Press, 2011)

Knowing, Teaching, and Learning History: National and International Perspectives (with Peter Stearns and Peter Seixas) (New York: NYU, 2001);

"Toward a theory of teacher community." Teachers College Record, 103 (6), 942-1012, 2001 (with Pam Grossman & Steve Woolworth);

"Crazy for History." Journal of American History, March 2004.

"Goodbye Columbus: A New Survey Upends Conventional Wisdom about Who Counts in American History"

"Beyond the bubble: New history/social studies assessments for the Common Core." Phi Delta Kappan 2012 (with J. Breakstone and M. Smith).


Current Activities

  • Member, Editorial Board, Cognition and Instruction, Journal of the Learning Sciences
  • Member, Advisory Board, National Research Council Committee, How People Learn, Targeted Report for Teachers

Consultant, Mandel Foundation, Jerusalem