University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

John Zack

Associate Director of Teacher Edcuation

Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates

Dr. Zack grew up around Chicago where he attended public school before earning a degree in Secondary Social Studies Education at the University of Illinois. He began teaching for the Albuquerque Public School system in the early ’90s. Here his interest in multicultural education and alternative assessmet came together at Freedom High School and through his studies at the University of New Mexico. After seven years teaching in the southwest and earning his masters degree, focusing on “educational thought and sociocultural studies,” Zack returned to Chicago. There, he helped establish one of the country’s first charter schools on the City’s westside. Serving an African American community, The Academy of Communications and Technology Charter School sought to “provide a college preperatory education to historically underserved urban youth.” While teaching in Chicago, Zack earned his Ph.D. in Curriculum Design, focusing again on issues of cultural and linguistic diversity at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Dr. Zack is interested in qualitative research, multicultural curriculum, queer praxis, inclusion, ELLs, experiential social studies methods, alternative assessment models, urban education, and choice schools. He is the primary instructor for the Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates at the Greater Hartford campus.

Contact Information:

Phone: (959) 200-3774
Mobile: (860) 713-9877


Location: HTB 439
Hours: 1:30 – 3:00 W,Th


Mailing Address:

Neag School of Education, TCPCG
10 Prospect Street
Hartford, CT 06103


Areas of Expertise:

Charter Schools

Secondary Education

Multicultural Education Issues

Teacher Education

Achievement Gap

Qualitative Research

History Education

Social Studies Education

Critical Pedagogy

Urban Education


Currently Teaching:

Social and Multicultural Foundations of Education

Social Studies Methods

Seminar I: Student Teaching Seminar

Multicultural Education

Curriculum Laboratory: Advanced Clinical Practices


Honors and Awards:

Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce Blue Ribbon Teacher of the Year

Teacher of the Year, Academy of Communications and Technology Charter School


In the News:



American Educational Research Association

National Council for the Social Studies

Educational Background:

Ph.D. Curriculum Design, University of Illinois Chicago, 2005

M.A. Educational Foundations, University of New Mexico, 1998

B.S. Secondary Social Studies Education, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 1991

Curriculum Vitae


Selected Publications/Presentations:

Zack, J., Mannheim, A., & Alfano, M. P. (In Press) “I didn’t know what to say…” – Four archetypal responses to homophobic rhetoric in the classroom. The High School Journal.

“Conversations on Inclusion” at AERA’s Annual Meeting, 2009

“‘I didn’t know what to say…’ – Homophobia and Hate Speech in the Classroom” at AERA’s Annual Meeting, 2009

“Readers’ Theatre in the Social Studies Classroom” at UConn’s Closing the Achievement Gap Conference, 2008

“‘Isn’t it just good teaching?’ The Evolving Views of Preservice teachers on Multicultural Curriculum and the Inclusive Classroom” at AERA’s Annual Meeting, 2007 & at CUNY’s The New Educator Conference, 2006 & the Holmes Partnerdhip’s Annual Conference, 2006

All Roads Lead Back: Stories of Life after High School from Inner City Graduates at AERA’s Annual Meeting, 2005