Winston Thompson

Headshot of 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 Associate Professor of Philosophy of Education and Associate Professor of Philosophy (by courtesy). 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

  • Winston C. Thompson & John Tillson, Eds., Pedagogies of Punishment: The Ethics of Discipline in Education, London: Bloomsbury Academic Press, (2023).
  • Winston C. Thompson, Ed., Philosophical Foundations of Education, London: Bloomsbury Academic Press, (2023).
  • Henry Lara-Steidel & Winston C. Thompson, “Epistemic injustice? Banning ‘critical race theory’, ‘divisive topics’, and ‘embedded racism’ in the classroom,” Journal of Philosophy of Education, (2023):
  • Winston C. Thompson, “More than Race: Mills, Ethnicity, and Education,” Theory and Research in Education, DOI:10.1177/14778785231162, (2023).
  • Joy Dangora Erickson, Kyleigh Pharris Rousseau, Megan Barlow, Kelly Wing & Winston C. Thompson, “Collaborative Autoethnography as a Tool for Developing Social Justice–Oriented Preschool Experiences,” Kappa Delta Pi Record, DOI: 10.1080/00228958.2022.2131657, (2022)
  • Winston C. Thompson, “Racial Identity Formation and Antiracist Education”,Handbook of Philosophy of Education Randall Curren (Ed.). (New York, NY: Routledge, 2022): Chapter 31.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “Must an Education in Research Ethics Engage Issues of Context, Culture, and Community?”,Advancing Culturally Responsive Research and Researchers: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Penny A. Pasque & e. alexander (Eds.). (New York, NY: Routledge, 2022): Chapter 4.
  • Liz Jackson, Winston C. Thompson, et al., “Feeling like a philosopher of education: A collective response to Jackson’s ‘The smiling philosopher’” Educational Philosophy and Theory,, (2022).
  • Joy Dangora Erickson & Winston C. Thompson, “Engaging Particularly Vulnerable Students in Civic Education: an argument for avoiding unchecked apprehension of moral indoctrination,”Journal of Curriculum Studies DOI: 10.1080/00220272.2021.1989049, (2021).
  • Alex Nikolaidis & Winston C. Thompson, “Breaking School Rules: On the Permissibility of Student Noncompliance in an Unjust Educational System,”Harvard Educational Review 91, no. 2 (2021): 204–226.
  • Timothy Barczak & Winston C. Thompson, “Monumental Changes: The Civic Harm Argument for the Removal of Confederate Monuments,”Journal of Philosophy of Education 55, no. 3 (2021): 439 – 452. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9752.12567.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “The Ethics of Difficult Conversations: Epistemology, Education, and Communication Across Difference,” Philosophy of Education 76, no. 4 (2021): 78-82.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “A Limited Defense of Talent as a Criterion for Access to Educational Opportunities,”Educational Philosophy and Theory, 53, no. 8 (2021): 833–845. *reprinted in Talent and Distributive Justice (1st Edition) Mitja Sardoc (Ed.). (London, UK: Routledge, 2022: Chapter 8.)
  • Winston C. Thompson, “Probing moral education and pursuing social justice: Review of Nucci, L., & Ilten-Gee, R.,Moral education for Social Justice” Journal of Moral Education, (2021)
  • Winston C. Thompson, “Book Review: Michael S. Merry’s,Educational Justice: Liberal Ideals, Persistent Inequality, and the Constructive Uses of Critique”Educational Theory 71, no. 5 (2021): 535 - 539.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “On the Promises of Hope in Perilous Times,”Philosophy of Education 76, no. 4 (2021): 31-38.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “What We Hold in Common: Failed Communications & Frustrated Communities,” Dewey Studies 4 , no. 1 (2020): 190-196.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “A Limited Defense of Talent as a Criterion for Access to Educational Opportunities,” Educational Philosophy and Theory, DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2020.1804358 (2020)
  • Liz Jackson, Winston C. Thompson, et. al., “Philosophy of Education in a New Key: Snapshot 2020 from the United States and Canada,” Educational Philosophy and Theory,, (2020): 1-5.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “Extending the Educational Goods Framework: A Review of Harry Brighouse, Helen F. Ladd, Susanna Loeb, & Adam Swift’s Educational Goods: Values, Evidence and Decision-Making ,” Journal of Philosophy of Education, ( In 2020 ): 5 pages.
  • Winston C. Thompson, - Abigail J. Beneke, & Garry S. Mitchell, “Legitimate Concerns: On Complications of Identity in School Punishment,” Theory and Research in Education 18, no. 1 (2020): 78-97.
  • Lily Lamboy, Ashley Taylor, & Winston C. Thompson, “Paternalistic Aims and (Mis)Attributions of Agency: What the Over-punishment of Black Girls in US Classrooms Teaches Us About Just School Discipline, ” Theory and Research in Education 18, no. 1 (2020): 59-77.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “Educational Allusions and the Illusions of Shared Values: A Review of Michele Moses’ Living with Moral Disagreement ,” Educational Theory 69, no. 3(2020): 365-368.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “Deweyan Growth, Egalitarianism, and Rawls, ”Philosophy and Education 2018 , (Urbana, Il.: Philosophy and Education Society), (2019): 346 - 350.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “Legal and Moral Analyses of Educators’ Obligations?,”Philosophy and Education 2017 , (Urbana, Il.: Philosophy and Education Society), (2019): 220-224.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “By Any Other Name: Patriotism and Civic Virtue in a Global Context - A Review of Randall Curren and Charles Dorn’s Patriotic Education in a Global Age ,” Studies in Philosophy and Education 38, no. 6 (2019): 675- 677.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “Considerations for the Ethical Implementation of Culturally Responsive Curricula,” Democratic Discord in Schools: Cases and Commentaries in Educational Ethics. M. Levinson & J. Fay, Eds. (Harvard Educational Press, 2019): 228 – 231.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “On Educational Justice,” UnMuted: Conversations on Prejudice, Oppression, and Social Justice . (Preface by Cornel West) M. Cherry, Ed. (Oxford University Press, 2019): 83 – 91.
  • Joy Dangora Erickson & Winston C. Thompson, “Preschool as a Wellspring for Democracy: Endorsing Traits of Reasonableness in Early Childhood Education,” Democracy and Education 27, no. 1 (2019): 1- 22.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “What is Policy to the Philosopher?, ” Philosophy and Education 2016 , (Urbana, Il.: Philosophy and Education Society), (2018): 350-353.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “Reconstructing a ‘ Dilemma ’ of Racial Identity Education, ” Ethics and Education 13, no. 1 (2018): 55-72. reprinted in Critical Philosophy of Race and Education (1 st Edition) J.Suissa & D. Chetty (Eds.). (London, UK: Routledge, 2019: Chapter 5.)
  • Todd DeMitchell & Winston C. Thompson, “Do Not Attempt Resuscitation Orders in Our Schools: The Unthinkable Ethical Dilemma for Educators”, 14 Rutgers Journal of Law & Public Policy, (2017): 287-313.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “Liberalism in Education,” The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education, (2017): 1-18.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “Educational Practice in Pursuit of Justice Requires Historically Informed and Philosophically Rigorous Scholarship,” Philosophy and History of Education: Diverse Perspectives on their Value and Relationship. A. Errante, J. Blount, & B. Kimball, Eds. (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017): 87-98.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “Rethinking Discussions of Justice in Educational Research: Formative Justice, Educational Liberalism, and Beyond," Teachers College Record 118, no. 10 (2016): 1-16.
  • Todd DeMitchell & Winston C. Thompson, “When a parent directs a child not be resuscitated, what should educators do,” The Conversation, May 2, 2016:
  • Carla Evans, Jade C. Lee, & Winston C. Thompson, ““First, Do No Harm?”: A Framework for Ethical Decision-Making in Teacher Evaluation,” Student growth measures: where policy meets practice . K. K. Hewitt & A. Amrein-Beardsley (Eds.). (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016): 169-188.
  • Elyse Hambacher & Winston C. Thompson, “Breaking the Mold: Thinking Beyond Deficits,” Journal of Educational Controversy 9, no. 1 (2015): 1-17.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “Rawls, Race, and Education: A Challenge to the Ideal/Non-Ideal Divide,” Educational Theory 65, no. 2 (2015): 151-167.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “Returning to Rawls: Race, Education, and Rectified Ideals,” Philosophy and Education 2014, (Urbana, Il.: Philosophy and Education Society), (2015): 446 – 454.
  • Winston C. Thompson, “Review of Jack Russell Weinstein’s Adam Smith’s Pluralism: Rationality, Education, and Moral Sentiments,” Studies in Philosophy and Education 34 no. 5 (2015): 537-540.
  • Todd DeMitchell & Winston C. Thompson, “Litigation and Organization: Educational Rights in a Deliberative Democracy. A Book Review of Realizing Educational Rights: Advancing School Reform through Courts and Communities,” Democracy and Education 22, no. 2 (2014): 1-