Reader Query: Feminist work on education?

I need your help!

I’m scheduled to teach a graduate course in Education that will be populated with Education graduate students. I taught a graduate seminar in Education within the past year, and it went great. (I am a Philosophy professor.) So I’ve been asked to teach another, and I’m curious to know what you would recommend for this course description, particularly regarding feminist interpretations of education:


Contemporary Philosophies of Education: Contemporary philosophical approaches to educational problems and issues, including: pragmatist, analytic, existentialist, phenomenological, critical, hermeneutic, postmodern, and feminist.

Any and all help would be welcome, and I’d love to hear from you about feminist interpretations of education as well as the other traditions noted above.

The graduate students will have little background in philosophy, but most of them will have some (from our class together last year) in the history of philosophy regarding education. But other than that, I’m assuming little knowledge about philosophy, since they’re Education graduate students.

8 thoughts on “Reader Query: Feminist work on education?

  1. The chapter on “Educational Methods” in Jane Addams “Democracy and Social Ethics”.

  2. A fair amount of ethics of care deals directly with education — indeed, Nel Noddings’s work in ethics of care is very largely concerned with education. It’s been a while since I’ve read any Noddings, so I’m not sure off the top of my head what would be the best reading for Education students. Perhaps selections from The Challenge to Care in Schools? Or if you want something any more basic, either standalone or as an introduction to other readings, perhaps her article in infed, Caring in Education.

  3. Cate Hundleby has done great work on feminist issues in critical reasoning. I’m assuming you could get some things from Phil Index or Hypatia. Or from others here. Here’s her name, affiliation:

    Dr. Catherine Hundleby
    Associate Professor & Graduate Director, Philosophy
    Cross-appointed to Women’s Studies
    Fellow, Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation and Rhetoric
    University of Windsor

  4. One suggestion: connecting philosophical work on implicit bias and testimonial injustice to bias in education. I’ve taught Fricker’s Epistemic Injustice book to undergrads with little background in philosophy, and they got a lot out of it. There’s not a lot of discussion of educational contexts, but connections are pretty clear. Her Philosophy Bites interview is useful:

    Kelly & Roedder’s paper “Racial Cognition and the Ethics of Implicit Bias” in Philosophy Compass has a discussion of how teachers should respond to recognition of implicit bias.

    If you want to talk about oppression & education, the following paper was just recommended to me; “New Racism, Reformed Teacher Education, and the Same Ole’ Oppression” by Beverly Cross in Educational Studies.

  5. I think my comments were just erased. Sorry if I’m double-posting.

    I’m the OP and want to thank you all for these suggestions. I taught Noddings in the previous grad class (though could do some of her other work, I suppose), but not the other philosophers here. From Jane Addams to critical thinking through implicit bias, these suggestions are terrific.

    Please keep them coming; y’all are the best.

  6. I used to be principal of a feminist girls’ school in Toronto called The Linden School. The school was founded in 1993, based in part on Carol Gilligan’s psychological studies of girls and ethics of care. I resigned as principal in 2010 to complete my dissertation (in English) and have my second child, but I’ve maintained my relationship with them and currently consult on feminist pedagogy, especially in English. The school would be an excellent model for examining feminist pedagogy in action. If you’re interested in more information, you can contact me at The school’s website is

  7. Aside from those already mentioned, the work of Jane Roland Martin, Morwenna Griffiths, Sharon Todd and Lynda Stone comes immediately to mind. You might also look at Barbara Appelbaum, Barbara Thayer-Bacon and Jennifer Gore. And while she’s not a philosopher, Nathalia Jaramillo is also an interesting educational thinker. I could name others (men too!) but these are a start.

  8. I highly recommend “Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom” by bell hooks. it is a fantastic treatise on teaching students to transgress against racial, sexual, and class boundaries. also try “Releasing the Imagination” by Maxine Greene. her essays are about using art to explore pluralism, marginalization, oppression, and education’s role in its transforming the human experience.

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