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Photo of Radinsky, Josh

Josh Radinsky, PhD

Associate Professor

Associate Professor of the Learning Sciences

Curriculum & Instruction


Building & Room:

3545 ETMSW


1040 W. Harrison St. (MC 147), Chicago, IL 60607

Office Phone:

(312) 413-0326


I study teaching and learning with visual data, in history and social science classrooms from middle school through college, museums, and public discussions. Most of my work is located in Chicago communities and public schools, using data maps and other visualization tools to help people reason and argue about complex social phenomena - change over time, race and racism, narrative and identity. Theoretical frameworks include sociocultural, socio-cognitive and critical lenses. Methods include design-based research, and analyses of discourse, interaction, narrative and representational practices.

My work includes collaborative design with teachers, students and community members, curriculum design, and professional development with pre-service and in-service teachers. I am a fan of geographic information systems (GIS) and other tools for creating and narrating interactive data visualizations.

Selected Grants

National Science Foundation, CAREER: Teaching and Learning Social Science Inquiry and Spatial Reasoning with GIS, Principal Investigator

National Science Foundation, INSPIRE: Studying and Promoting Quantitative and Spatial Reasoning with Complex Visual Data Across School, Museum and Web Contexts, Co-Principal Investigator

National Endowment for the Humanities, CoCensus: Collaborative Exploration of Census Data in a Museum, Co-Principal Investigator

National Endowment for the Humanities, Bringing Historical Census Data Alive with Geographic Information Systems, Principal Investigator

Selected Publications

Radinsky, J., Milz, D., Zellner, M., Pudlock, K., Witek, C., Hoch, C., & Lyons, L. (2017). How planners and stakeholders learn with visualization tools: using learning sciences methods to examine planning processes. Journal of environmental planning and management, 60(7), 1296-1323.


Hospelhorn, E., & Radinsky, J. (2017). A method for analyzing gestural communication in musical groups. Discourse Processes, 54(7), 504-523. E-print: DOI:


Waitoller, F. R., & Radinsky, J. (2017). Geo-spatial perspectives on neoliberal education reform: Examining intersections of ability, race, and social class. In Morrison, D., Annamma, S. & D. Jackson (Eds.), Critical race spatial analysis: Mapping to understand and address educational inequality. Sterling VA: Stylus Publishing.

Publication Aggregators

Service to Community

I served as Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of the Learning Sciences from 2013-2016, and am an inaugural Fellow of the International Society of the Learning Sciences. I serve as Director of Graduate Studies for the UIC Learning Sciences PhD program, a member of the UIC Faculty Senate, a representative in the UIC United Faculty union, and a member of the UIC Elementary Education program where I teach social studies methods.

Professional Leadership

Past Co-Editor in Chief, Journal of the Learning Sciences

Director of Graduate Studies, Learning Sciences PhD Program

Notable Honors

2010, Early Career Award, National Science Foundation

2016, Inaugural Fellow, International Society of the Learning Sciences


2000 - PhD, Northwestern University, Learning Sciences
1985 - BA, University of Michigan, Comparative History