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George Hein

Professor Emeritus

George Hein, founder of Lesley's PhD in Educational Studies

George E. Hein, originally trained as a chemist, turned to science education and then museum education, joining Lesley University in 1975. He became Professor Emeritus in 1998. He was a Fulbright Research Fellow in Science Education at Kings’ College, London (1990), visiting faculty member at the University of Leicester Museum Studies Program (1996), Howard Hughes Visiting Scholar at the California Institute of Technology (1998), Osher Fellow at The Exploratorium in San Francisco (1999), Visiting Professor at University of Technology, Sydney (2000), Research Fellow at the Center for Education and Museum Studies at the Smithsonian Institution (2009-10), and Guest Scholar at The J. Paul Getty Museum in 2011.

George is the author, with Mary Alexander, of Museums, Places of Learning (AAM, 1998), Learning in the Museum (Routledge, 1998), and Progressive Museum Practice: John Dewey and Democracy (Left Coast Press, 2012), as well as numerous articles on visitor studies, museum education and museology.

He has lectured widely in the United States and abroad including Austria, Brazil, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Mexico, Norway, Spain, and Taiwan. He has been active in ICOM/CECA serving as both secretary and president of CECA in the 1990s. His primary current interest is the significance of John Dewey’s work for museums. George Hein's website.

Dr. Hein initiated the PhD in Educational Studies program at Lesley. He believes that doctoral work is a vehicle for exploring how to improve educational and human service practice by research and study at the highest level, and that doctoral work is way to build and strengthen a community of scholars committed to human service. In his honor, the PhD in Educational Studies program holds an annual George Hein Lecture each fall.


BA, Cornell University
MS, University of Michigan
PhD, University of Michigan

Selected Publications

  • G. E. Hein, Progressive Museum Practice: John Dewey and Democracy, Left Coast Press, 2012.
  • G.E. Hein, Learning in the Museum, London: Routledge, 1998.
  • G. E. Hein, “A Progressive Education Perspective on Evaluation,” In B. S. Engel and A. C. Martin, eds. Holding Values: What We Mean by Progressive Education, Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2005, pp. 176-181.
  • G. E. Hein, "The Challenge of Constructivist Teaching," in E. Mirochnik and D. C. Sherman, editors, Passion and Pedagogy: Reflection, Creation, and Transformation in Teaching, Peter Lang: New York, 2002.
  • G. E. Hein, "The Logic of Program Evaluation: What Should We Evaluate in Teacher Enhancement Projects?" in Friel, S. N. and G. W. Bright, Reflecting on Our Work: NSF Teacher Enhancement in K-6 Mathematics, Lanham, MD: University Press of American Inc., 1996.