Bryan Warnick

Professor, Department of Educational Studies
Program Chair, Department of Educational Studies

Program Area: Philosophy and History of Education

(614) 292-8212


Bryan Warnick is professor of Philosophy of Education in the College of Education and Human Ecology. He earned his BS degree in philosophy and psychology from the University of Utah, graduating magna cum laude. After serving as a research associate in Medical Ethics at the University of Utah School of Medicine, Dr. Warnick completed his MA and PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Philosophy of Education. He teaches and conducts research in the area of philosophy of education, specializing in the ethical dimensions of educational policies and practices. Recent topics of interest include the ethics of school punishment, the phenomenon of school shootings, democratic education, the relationship between religion and education, the implications of capitalism for education, and student rights in school settings. 


  • PhD, Philosophy of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005
  • MA, Philosophy of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002
  • BS, Philosophy and Psychology, University of Utah, 1999

Research Interests


  • Appointed Senior Fellow by the Center for Ethics and Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2015-2018).  One of five inaugural Senior Fellows selected from universities across nation based upon their respective scholarship and diverse interests. The fellows will help establish the center as a network for philosophers to explore moral and political questions in educational policy and practice. It is the first academic center of its kind in the United States.

Selected Grants

  • Principle Investigator: “The Ethics of Cash for Grades.” Funded by the Spencer Foundation (2013-2014): $40,000.
  • Principal Investigator: “Student Rights and the Special Characteristics of Schools.”  Funded by the Spencer Foundation (2009-2010): $38,853 

Selected Publications


  • Campbell F. Scribner and Bryan R. Warnick, Spare the Rod: Punishment and the Moral Community of Schools (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press: 2021) 
  • Bryan R. Warnick and Lynda Stone, Eds., Philosophy: Education (Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks) (Farmington Hills, Mich: Macmillan Reference, 2017).  
  • Bryan R. Warnick, Understanding Student Rights in Schools: Speech, Privacy, and Religion in Educational Contexts (Teachers College Press, 2012). 
    • Winner, Critics Choice Book Award (AESA, 2013)
    • Reviewed in Huffington Post, Theory and Research in Education, The School Administrator, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Educational Theory
    • Highlighted with a segment on School Leadership Briefing
  • Bryan R. Warnick, Imitation and Education: A Philosophical Inquiry into Learning by Example (SUNY Press, 2008).
    • Reviewed in Teachers College Record, Theory and Research in Education, Journal of Aesthetic Education  

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Interrogating the Opinionated Life: An Educational Engagement with Pyrrhonian Skepticism,” Philosophical Studies in Education (forthcoming)
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Sophocles’ Antigone and the Ethics of Educational Policy,” Philosophical Studies in Education, 51, 2020: 80-90 
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Discipline, Punishment, and the Moral Community of Schools,” Theory and Research in Education 18, no. 1 (2020): 98-116.  
  • Bryan R. Warnick, Douglas Yacek, Shannon Robinson, “Learning to the Moved: The Modes of Democratic Responsiveness,” Philosophical Inquiry in Education, 25, no. 1 (2018): 31-46.   
  • Bryan R. Warnick, Paying Students to Learn: An Ethical Analysis of Cash for Grades Programs,” Theory and Research in Education, 15, no. 1 (2017): 71-87. 
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Reformist Distractions and Educational Labor: Two Perspectives on Paying for Grades,” Educational Theory, 66, no. 5 (2016): 581-598 
  • Bryan R. Warnick, Todd Bitters, Thomas Falk, Sang Hyun Kim, “Social Media Use and Teacher Ethics,” Educational Policy, 30, no. 5 (2016): 771-795. 
  • Bryan R. Warnick, Shannon Robinson, and Sang Hyun Kim, “Gun Violence and the Meaning of American Schooling,” Educational Theory, 65, no. 4 (2015): 371-386. 
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Fairness in Teaching Evolution.” Philosophical Studies in Education 45 (2014): 88-98.
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Taming the Conflict over Educational Equal,” Journal of Applied Philosophy 32, no. 1 (2014): 50-66.  
  • Sang Hyun Kim and Bryan R. Warnick, “Freedom of Expression and Korean Schools,” The Korean Journal of Educational Ideas 28, no. 1 (2014): 49-70. 
  • Bryan R. Warnick and D. Spencer Smith, “Clarifying the Controversy Over Controversies,” Educational Theory 64, no. 3 (2014): 227-244.
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Parental Authority over Education and the Right-to-Invite.” Harvard Educational Review 84, no. 1 (2014): 53-71.  
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Rethinking Education for Autonomy in Pluralistic Societies." Educational Theory 62, no. 4. (2012): 411-426.
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Student Rights to Religious Expression and the Special Characteristics of Schools.” Educational Theory 62, no. 1 (2012): 59-74.  
  • Bryan R. Warnick and Sarah K. Silverman, “A Framework for Professional Ethics in Teacher Education.” Journal of Teacher Education 62, no. 3 (2011): 273-285. 
  • Kurt Stemhagen and Bryan R. Warnick, “Utility, Humility, and Educational Research: On Heterogeneous Community.” Philosophical Studies in Education 41 (2010): 116-126. 
  • Bryan R. Warnick, Benjamin A. Johnson, Samuel Rocha, “Tragedy and the Meaning of School Shootings.” Educational Theory 60, no. 3 (2010): 371-390. 
  • Bryan R. Warnick, David Spencer Smith, Heather Dawson, and Bethany Vosburg-Bleum, “Individualism and Student Community in American Cinema.” Educational Studies 46, no. 2 (2010): 168-191.
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Evolution, Creationism, and Fairness: Equal Time in the Biology Classroom?,” Philosophy of Education, 2009 (Urbana, Ill.: Philosophy of Education Society), 305-314.
  • Bryan R. Warnick, Bradley Rowe, and Sang Hyun Kim, “Student Rights, Original Meaning, and Justice Clarence Thomas.” Educational Theory 59, no. 3 (2009): 145-165.   
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Student Speech Rights and the Special Characteristics of the School Environment,” Educational Researcher 38 (2009): 200-215.
  • Thomas M. Falk, Sam Rocha, and Bryan R. Warnick, “Social Science and Its Discontents: An Essay Review of Bent Flyvbjerg’s Making Social Science Matter,Education Review 12 (2009): 1-15.
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Dilemmas of Autonomy and Happiness: Harry Brighouse on Subjective Wellbeing and Education.” Theory and Research in Education 7 (2009): 89-111. 
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Oppression, Freedom, and the Education of Frederick Douglass.” Philosophical Studies in Education 39 (2008): 24-34. 
  • Bryan R. Warnick and David Fooce, “Does Teaching Creationism Facilitate Student Autonomy?” Theory and Research in Education 5 (2007): 357-378.
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Surveillance Cameras in Schools: An Ethical Analysis,” Harvard Educational Review 77, no. 3 (2007): 317-343.  
    • Reprinted in Handbook of Research in Social Foundations of Education. Steven Tozer, Bernardo Gallegos, Annette Henry, eds. (Routledge, 2009). 
  • Bryan R. Warnick and Nicholas C. Burbules, “Media Comparison Studies: Problems and Possibilities,” Teacher’s College Record 109, no. 11(2007): 2483-2510.  
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Emerson and the School of Nature,” Philosophical Studies in Education 38 (2007): 95-104. 
  • Bryan R. Warnick and Kurt Stemhagen, “Mathematics Teachers as Moral Educators: The Implications of Conceiving of Mathematics as a Technology,” Journal of Curriculum Studies 39, no. 3 (2007): 303-316.
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Ethics and Education Forty Years Later,” Educational Theory 57, no. 1 (2007): 53-74.
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “How Do We Learn from the Lives of Others? Philosophy of Education, 2006 (Urbana, Ill: Philosophy of Education Society), 367-375. 
  • Nicholas C. Burbules and Bryan R. Warnick, “Philosophical Inquiry,” in Complementary Methods for Research in Education, 3rd Edition, Gregory Camilli, Patricia Elmore, and Judith Green, eds. (Washington, D.C.: American Educational Research Association, 2006), 489-502. 
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Cadaver Dissection and the Limits of Simulation,” Journal of Clinical Ethics 15, no. 4 (2004): 350-362.
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Educational Research and the Interests of the State: The Divisive Case of Generalizability,” Philosophy of Education, 2004 (Urbana, Ill.: Philosophy of Education Society), 271-279.
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Bringing Religious Traditions into Educational Theory: Making an Example of Joseph Smith, Jr.,” Educational Theory 54, no. 4 (2004): 345-364.
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Technological Metaphors and Moral Education: The Hacker Ethic and the Computational Experience,” Studies in Philosophy and Education 23, no. 4 (2004): 265-281.

Other publications

  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Discipline and Punishment in Schools,” Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Education. Randall Curren (Ed.) (Routledge: forthcoming).   
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “The Ethics of Doctoral Admission,” Academic Ethics Today: Problems, Policies, and Prospects for University Life. Steven Cahn, ed. (Roman and Littlefield: forthcoming)  
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Review of Educated by Tara Westover,” Philosophical Inquiry in Education, 27 (no. 2), 2020: 188-195 
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Slowness, Inclusion, and the Secular Sabbath,” Philosophy of Education (2019): 639-644.
  • Bryan R. Warnick and Ryan Kapa, “Does Target Hardening Do More Harm than Good?” Education Next, Spring 2019.
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Schools Should Reaffirm Privacy While Protecting Students,” Ethical Dilemmas of Democratic Education, Meira Levinson and Jacob Fay, Eds. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press, 2019)  
  • Bryan R. Warnick, Benjamin Johnson, Sam Rocha, “Why security measures won’t stop school shootings,” The Conversation, Feb. 14, 2018:
    •  Republished on websites of: Scientific American, Education Week, Business Insider, UPI, SFGATE, and others.  
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Should Families Be Allowed to Choose Schools?” MacMillan Interdisciplinary Handbook: Philosophy. Bryan R. Warnick and Lynda Stone, eds.  (Farmington Hills, Mich: Macmillan Reference, 2017).  
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Why Does History Matter to Philosophy?” The Relationship and Need of Philosophy and History of Education. Antoinette Errant and Jackie Blount, eds. (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017).   
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “As Long as You Live Under My Roof” Phi Delta Kappan 96, no. 7 (2015): 36-40 
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “The Expanding Circuit of Life: Higher Education, Wit, and Relevance" The Relevance of Higher Education. Timothy Simpson, ed. (Lexington Books: 2013) 
  • Bryan R. Warnick, “Ralph Waldo Emerson.” Encyclopedia of Educational Theory and Philosophy. D.C. Phillips. Ed. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2014)
  • Nicholas C. Burbules, Bryan Warnick, Timothy M. McDonough, and Scott Johnston, “The Educational Strand in American Philosophy.” Blackwells Guide to American Philosophy. Armen Marsoobian and John Ryder, eds. (Blackwell: 2004), 343-363.