Maia Sheppard

Maia Sheppard
Associate Professor, Curriculum & Pedagogy; Social Studies
(202) 994-3236

Maia Sheppard is Associate Professor of Curriculum and Pedagogy with a focus in Social Studies Education, and Coordinator of the Secondary Education Program at the George Washington University. Dr. Sheppard’s research focuses on the difficult nature of teaching and learning about the past and examines the role of emotions in social studies education.

As a teacher educator, Dr. Sheppard works to develop pre-service teachers’ skills in community-engaged teaching and the professional capacity to advocate for educational approaches that best serve their students’ needs.

Prior to coming to GW, Dr. Sheppard was the founding social studies teacher at a school for immigrants and refugees in the Bronx, taught ESL in Namibia with the Peace Corps, and supported teachers and schools in a range of contexts, from Zambia to Minnesota.


Sheppard, M., & Levy, S. (in press). Emotions and teacher decision-making: An analysis of social studies teachers’ perspectives. Teaching and Teacher Education.

Levy, S. A., & Sheppard, M. (2018). ‘Difficult knowledge’ and the Holocaust in history education. In S. Metzger & L. Harris (Eds.) The Wiley International Handbook of History Teaching and Learning. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell.

Sheppard, M., Katz, D., & Grosland, T. (2015). Conceptualizing emotions in social studies education. Theory & Research in Social Education, 43 (2), 147-178.

Sheppard, M., & Mayo, J. B., Jr. (2013). The social construction of gender and sexuality: Learning from Two Spirit traditions. The Social Studies, 104 (6), 259-270.

Mayo, J. B., & Sheppard, M. (2012). New social learning from Two Spirit Native Americans. The Journal of Social Studies Research, 36 (3), 263-282.

Sheppard, M. (2010). Creating a caring classroom in which to teach difficult histories. The History Teacher, 43 (3), 411-426.

Sheppard, M. (2010). Difficult histories in an urban classroom (Doctoral dissertation). University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.


Sheppard, M., & Levy, S. (2017). Analyzing emotional rules in two urban history classrooms. Presentation at the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council of the Social Studies Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Jenks, S., & Sheppard, M. (2017). What role should historic sites play in teacher professional development? Presentation at American Association of State and Local History Annual Conference, Austin, TX.

In the News

Dr. Maia Sheppard and local educator, youth activist, and international hip hop artist Gabriel "Asheru" Benn responded to the GW Museum and Textile Museum’s “Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms” exhibit at the final spring 2019 installment of Conversations that Matter: Art that Uplifts. GW Today highlighted the event in the article, "Art Is the Lesson for Rapper and Educator."

Dr. Maia Sheppard published an article entitled "Emotions and teacher decision-making: An analysis of social studies teachers’ perspectives" in the journal Teaching and Teacher Education.

Dr. Maia Sheppard, along with Nicole Strange-Martin, Dean of Trinity Washington University School of Education, spoke on a panel for the DC State Board of Education about information and data needed to ensure that future teachers will remain in a single school for the long term.

Dr. Maia Sheppard co-authored an article in Teaching and Teacher Education entitled "Emotions and teacher decision making: An analysis of social studies teachers' perspectives" with Dr. Sara Levy from Wells College.

Dr. Maia Sheppard and Sara Levy, Wells College, co-authored a chapter for the The Wiley International Handbook of History Teaching and Learning, entitled ‘Difficult knowledge’ and the Holocaust in history education.