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Warnick appointed fellow of national Center for Ethics and Education

EHE News
July 15, 2015

Philosophers and education researchers to serve as resources to policymakers

Job # 130456 Bryan Warnick EHE Faculty OCT-07-2013 Photo by Jo McCulty The Ohio State University Bryan Warnick


Bryan Warnick, professor of philosophy of education and associate dean for academic affairs in Ohio State’s College of Education and Human Ecology, has been appointed as one of five inaugural senior fellows by the Center for Ethics and Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison). It is the first academic center of its kind in the United States.

Selected from universities across the country for their 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.

“Our goal is to encourage contemporary moral and political philosophers to apply their tools and perspectives to concrete problems in education,” said the center’s principal investigator and director, Harry Brighouse, a UW-Madison professor of philosophy and educational policy studies. “We believe a wide variety of education topics are ripe for philosophical scrutiny, from the long-standing differences in education resources available to various socio-economic, ethnic and racial groups, to the question of whether vouchers are a good use of public money.”

Warnick studies ethics and education in relationship to student rights, parent rights, educational equality, religion and education, technology and education, and the educational significance of pluralism. His 2012 book from Teachers College Press, Understanding Student Rights in Schools: Speech, Privacy and Religion in Educational Contexts, won the Critics Choice Book Award from the American Educational Studies Association. The Huffington Post reviewed the book, as did key journals, including Theory and Research in Education, The School Administrator and the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

The new center will bring philosophers and education researchers into conversation to improve the quality of the philosophical and empirical work. Both can serve as resources for policymakers.

The other four scholars to join the center as its first fellows are:

  • Danielle Allen is director of Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and a professor in the university’s department of government and graduate school of education. She is a political theorist who has published broadly on democratic theory, political sociology and the history of political thought.
  • Kyla Ebels-Duggan, associate professor of philosophy at Northwestern University, specializes in moral and political philosophy and their history. Much of her work concerns the reason-giving authority that an individual’s ends or values have for others.
  • Jennifer M. Morton, assistant professor of philosophy at the City University of New York (CUNY), works in philosophy of action, education and politics. Her current work focuses on the implications of recent social science research into the importance of characteristics such as grit, perseverance and assertiveness.
  • Walter Parker, professor of social studies education and political science at the University of Washington, conducts design-based research on high school government courses and studies civic education broadly, including the instructional effects of classroom discussion and mock political simulations.

The center began operation this spring with funding from a $3.5 million grant from the Spencer Foundation. A project of the UW-Madison and University of Illinois at Chicago philosophy departments, and UW-Madison’s Educational Policy Studies Department, the center is housed at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research within the university’s highly ranked public school of education.


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