Teacher Education Faculty Spotlight

Spotlight on James Moore


When Dr. James Moore left the sunny shores of Miami Beach 11 years ago for the frigid winters of Cleveland, he immediately found himself at home.  Then again, Moore was in a football-crazy town and at a university passionate about student success.

“Football is a means to an end,” Moore said during a recent meeting in his third-floor Julka Hall office.  “It’s not about the wins.  Football is about developing character and the traits needed to be successful in life.  Ask any of my students [at Cleveland State] and they’ll tell you I’m a stickler for strong character.”

Moore, an associate professor of social studies education, arrived at Cleveland State via his native South Florida where he spent 22 years teaching social studies and coaching high school football under Jim Kroll at Miami Beach and Palmetto Senior High Schools.  A defensive line coach, Moore was a top-flight 6-foot, 150-pound defensive end during his playing days at Southwest Miami Senior High School.

“My career plan was to teach high school and coach football,” said Moore, who earned his Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction, social studies education, from Florida International University (FIU).  “That all changed when I started teaching part-time at FIU.”

Moore managed a grueling schedule, teaching five 60-minute high school classes each day before coaching.  He found time in the evenings and on weekends to teach at FIU and pursue his Ph.D.

“I really have to credit my faculty advisor, Ralph Clem, at FIU for constantly encouraging me to finish my doctoral work,” said Moore, who also has a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in social studies education from FIU.  “I knew I wanted to be a professor.”

Moore, who coached former NFL star wide receiver Chad Johnson (Chad Ochocinco) at Miami Beach Senior High, has published more than 20 journal articles and is currently looking to publish his research on the differences between Sunni and Shia of Islam.

“I write extensively about religion, Islam, global issues and the First Amendment,” said Moore.  “I do a lot of qualitative research.”

A global traveler, Moore plans one international vacation per year.  He recently traveled to Turkey and has been to China, Thailand, Russia and all through Europe.

The opportunity to see the world and experience different cultures is enriching, but nothing compares to being home in Cleveland.

“It’s been very fulfilling to build relationships with current and former education students [at Cleveland State],” said Moore.  “I always try to be a realist and don’t sugarcoat anything.  I make sure students know teaching is a tough profession with many challenges, but it’s absolutely rewarding.”


Favorite food: Filet mignon

Favorite city: Rome, Italy

Favorite movie: The Godfather

Favorite band: The Beach Boys

My hidden talent is… “Convincing people I have any talent at all.”