James J. Carroll

Research Associate Professor, Maxwell School


Contact Information


Ph.D., Syracuse University, 1985


Public school teaching of American history, public policy skills, and constitutional law, using Internet applications


In 1976, I developed Project LEGAL which achieved both state and national validation (based on pre/post, target/control group studies) for advancing elementary and secondary students’ problem solving skills and knowledge of the U.S. legal/judicial system. During the 1980’s and 1990’s, I conducted teacher training workshops in 34 states in which over 1500 school districts adopted Project LEGAL.

In 1988, I transferred my grants from the School of Education to the Maxwell School since I was working with several Maxwell faculty on annual grants from the National Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution.  Since transferring to Maxwell, I have obtained over $20M in competitive federal grants through U.S. Department of Education Programs such as the National Diffusion Network, the Law-Related Education Program, the Javits Talented and Gifted Students Program (Project CRITICAL), and the Technology Innovation Challenge Grants (Project TIPS).  Most of the aforementioned grants benefited teachers and students in school districts in the Bronx and in Harlem, although initial attempts to partner with the Syracuse City School District were always made.

Currently, I serve as the Maxwell School’s Principal Investigator for “Scaling—Up Project CRITICAL,” a five-year (2017—2022)  grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Javits Gifted and Talented Education Program in collaboration with 125 elementary and secondary teachers and 5,000 students in Harlem’s Community School District 5.


I am the author of several textbooks and related teacher guides for use in American history classrooms on subjects such as the ratification debates, the presidency, and the founding period.  I developed numerous Internet applications on public policy skills and constitutional law with Joseph Montecalvo for use in Project HISTORY and other Maxwell projects such as The Public Policy Analyst and CompuLEGAL.

Research Interests

Develops and directs multi-year federally—funded projects for school districts on teaching American history, public policy skills and constitutional law that use Internet applications developed colleague, Joe Montecalvo.