Social Studies Journal


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Jessica B. Schocker, Ph.D.


Jessy is an Associate Professor of Social Studies Education and Women’s Studies at Penn State Berks. Her recent scholarship focuses on issues of race and representation in social studies education. For example, she has published and presented research on methods for and outcomes of teaching about and through the experiences of Black women in American History; teaching about race and representation to our youngest learners; and confronting the Civic Empowerment Gap. Jessy’s research informs her teaching at Penn State Berks, where she teaches a variety of education classes (e.g., social studies methods; educational psychology; politics of education) and general education classes in her areas of content expertise (e.g. women’s history; critical race theory; kinesiology). She focuses significantly in both her research and teaching on utilizing primary sources such as images, memoir, documents, court cases, speeches, and oral histories to teach social studies. Jessy is currently very interested in exploring how the classroom space can and should be a vehicle to fight modern political polarization and siloing.

Jessy has been the editor of SSJ since 2016, and in that time has worked to increase the integrity and profile of SSJ as a nationally recognized and respected journal among K-12 teachers and university professors of education. Jessy's vision for SSJ is that the journal is an accessible and provocative publication that addresses current and lasting ideas in social studies education from diverse perspectives.

Mark Kissling

Mark T. Kissling, Ph.D.

Associate Editor

Mark is an Associate Professor of Education at Penn State's University Park campus, where he has worked since 2010. He joined SSJ's editorial team in 2022 after publishing three articles in the journal: in Fall of 2017, about complicating the teaching of "This Land is Your Land"; in Spring of 2019, with Dr. Jon Bell, about Pennsylvania secondary social studies teaching about climate change; in Fall of 2020, with Dr. Stephanie Schroeder, about critically analyzing elementary social studies materials intended for PA kindergarten classrooms.

Before starting his doctoral studies at Michigan State University, Mark taught high school social studies at Framingham High School in Framingham, MA.

For more about Mark and his scholarship, visit:

Abigail Stebbins

Abigail L. Stebbins

Associate Editor

Abigail is a doctoral candidate at Penn State University studying curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in elementary social studies education. She will graduate with her Ph.D. in May 2024 and then join the Department of Teaching and Learning at The Ohio State University as an Assistant Professor of Elementary Education in August 2024. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Abigail received her B.A. from The College of Wooster and M.Ed. from Kent State University, and worked as a second grade teacher in Ohio. Woven throughout Abigail’s research and teaching is an emphasis on critical, integrative, and “everyday” elementary social studies curriculum and instruction. Abigail’s current scholarship examines children’s “everyday” social and civic learning that occurs throughout the school day, elementary teachers’ learning and use of integrative pedagogies to resist or subvert the boundaries of the formal curriculum, and critical approaches to using children’s literature and online curricular materials to teach anti-oppressive social studies. In the teacher education classroom, Abigail teaches a variety of courses ranging from social studies and literacy methods to early childhood pedagogy.

Abigail has been the copy editor of SSJ since 2022, and transitioned into the role of associate editor in 2024.