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Winston Thompson

Associate Professor, Department of Educational Studies

Program Area: Philosophy and History of Education

(614) 688-3057

Personal Website


Winston C. Thompson is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Education. He received his PhD (with distinction) in Philosophy and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Following this, he has been a faculty member in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University and the College of Liberal Arts at the University of New Hampshire. More recently, he was Fellow-in-Residence at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. Thompson joined The Ohio State University in autumn 2018.


  • PhD, Philosophy and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • EdM, Higher and Post-Secondary Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • MA, Higher and Post-Secondary Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • BA, Philosophy, University of Florida

Research Interests

Research Summary

Thompson’s scholarship focuses upon normative ethical and social/political questions of justice, education, and the public good, with recent efforts analyzing dilemmas of educational policy. Currently, Thompson is working on enlarging the mainstream view of the relationship between education and politics in order to ask what is owed to persons and polities as a matter of educational rather than only political justice. In this project, Thompson focuses upon enduring issues of race and immigration.

Selected Publications

  • “Deweyan Growth, Egalitarianism, and Rawls” Philosophy and Education 2018, Megan Laverty (Ed.), (Urbana, IL: Philosophy and Education Society): (Accepted)
  • “Legal and Moral Analyses of Educators’ Obligations?” Philosophy and Education 2017, Ann Chinnery (Ed.), (Urbana, IL: Philosophy and Education Society): (In Press)
  • “What is Policy to the Philosopher?” Philosophy and Education 2016, Natasha Levinson (Ed.), (Urbana, IL: Philosophy and Education Society): 2018
  • “Reconstructing a ‘Dilemma’ of Racial Identity Education”, Ethics and Education, 2018 DOI: 10.1080/17449642.2018.1428713
  • “Do Not Attempt Resuscitation Orders in Our Schools: The Unthinkable Ethical Dilemma for Educators”, (with DeMitchell, T.) 14 Rutgers Journal of Law & Public Policy, 2017, 287-313
  • “Liberalism in Education” in The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education, 2017
  • “Educational Practice in Pursuit of Justice Requires Historically Informed and Philosophically Rigorous Scholarship,” in A. Errante, J. Blount, & B. Kimball (Eds.), Philosophy and History of Education: Diverse Perspectives on their Value and Relationship. (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017)
  • “Theorizing Justice in Educational Research: Formative Justice, Educational Liberalism, and Beyond", Teachers College Record, 118 (10), 2016
  •  “First, Do No Harm?”: A Framework for Ethical Decision-Making in Teacher Evaluation,” (with Evans, C. & Lee, J. C.) in K. K. Hewitt & A. Amrein-Beardsley (Eds.), Student growth measures: Where policy meets practice. (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)
  • “Smith and the Educational Sentiment,” in “Review Symposium of Jack Russell Weinstein, Adam Smith’s Pluralism: Rationality, Education, and Moral Sentiments, in Studies in Philosophy and Education 34(5), 2015
  • “Breaking the Mold: Thinking Beyond Deficits,” (with Hambacher, E.) Journal of Educational Controversy 9(1), 2015
  • “Rawls, Race, and Education: A Challenge to the Ideal/Non-Ideal Divide,” Educational Theory 65 (2), 2015
  • “Returning to Rawls: Race, Education, and Rectified Ideals” Philosophy and Education 2014, Michele Moses (Ed.), (Urbana, IL: Philosophy and Education Society): 2015
  • “Litigation and Organization: Educational Rights in a Deliberative Democracy,” (with DeMitchell, T.) Democracy and Education 22(2), 2014
  • “Idols, Happiness, and the Pursuit of the Educational Ideal,” Philosophy and Education 2013, Cris Mayo (Ed.), (Urbana, IL: Philosophy and Education Society): 2014
  • “Balancing the World: Reflective Equilibrium and the Invitation to Openness and Loyalty,” Book Symposium on The Teacher and the World: A Study of Cosmopolitanism as Education, by David Hansen in Educational Philosophy and Theory, DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2013.836370, 2013
  • “What’s Left Behind: Three Questions for Meira Levinson,” in “Review Symposium of Meira Levinson, No Citizen Left Behind (with Duarte, E.; Moses, M.; Sayles-Hannon, S.; Wheeler-Bell, Q.), in Studies in Philosophy and Education 32(6), 2013, 653-666
  • Review of “What is Education?” by Philip W. Jackson, in Journal of Philosophy of Education 46(3), 2012, 493-496
  • “The Ballot or the Blog Post: Creating a Political Self Through, and in Spite of, Social Media,” Critical Questions in Education 3(2), 2012, 105-116
  • “Equal Educational Opportunity: Some Considerations from the Capabilities Approach,” in The Capability Approach on Social Order. (Preface by Martha Nussbaum) Niels. Weidtmann, Yanti. Hölzchen, and Bilal. Hawa (Eds.), (Munster; LIT Verlag, 2012): 172-186
  • “Reconsidering Tolerance Education: Should We Recover Tolerance or Replace It with Hospitality?” Philosophy and Education 2010, Gert Biesta (Ed.), (Urbana, IL: Philosophy and Education Society): 2011
  • Review of “Power, Protest, and the Public Schools: Jewish and African American Struggles in New York City” by Melissa Weiner, in Teachers College Record, Date Published: November 15, 2010
  • Review of “Student Engagement in Higher Education: Theoretical Perspectives and Practical Approaches for Diverse Populations” by Shaun R. Harper & Stephen J. Quaye (Eds.), in Teachers College Record, Date Published: January 16, 2009