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David Hansen

Professional Background

Educational Background

David Hansen received his Bachelor of Arts in the history of ideas from the University of Chicago, his Master of Arts in political economy from Stanford University, and his Ph.D. in education from the University of Chicago.  Before taking up his current appointment at Teachers College in 2001, he was professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and before that a secondary school teacher and instructor in a language arts program for teachers.

Scholarly Interests

Professor Hansen's scholarship has focused on the philosophy and practice of teaching and of teacher education, on moral and ethical dimensions of education, on the nature of values and inquiry, and related themes.  He draws from thinkers across the diverse fields featured in the Philosophy and Education program, including ethics, philosophical anthropology, and foundations of education.  He has studied extensively the educational thought of figures such as Plato and John Dewey.  In recent years he has focused on the relations between cosmopolitanism as an outlook on the human condition and the practice of education.  He is a Past-President of the John Dewey Society and of the Philosophy of Education Society.

Selected Publications

*  The Teacher and the World: A Study of Cosmopolitanism as Education.
 London and New York: Routledge, 2011.


*  John Dewey and Our Educational Prospect: A Critical Engagement with
Dewey’s Democracy and Education.  Albany: State University of New York
Press, 2006.


*  Exploring the Moral Heart of Teaching: Toward a Teacher's Creed.
New York: Teachers College Press, 2001.  Translated and published
(2002) as Explorando el corazon moral de la ensenanza.  Barcelona:
Idea Universitaria-Educacion.


* The Call to Teach. New York: Teachers College Press, 1995.
Translated and published (2001) as Llamados a ensenar. Barcelona: Idea
Universitaria-Educacion.

honors and awards

A&HF 4190: American philosophies of education

Major American thinkers and outlooks and their impact on education: Thoreau, Emerson, Fuller, and transcendentalism; Pierce, James, Dewey, and pragmatism; Douglass, Du Bois, and African-American education; Anthony, Stanton, Addams, and feminism.

A&HF 4196: Identity and ideals: Visions of human flourishing

An introduction to influential philosophical perspectives on what it means to be a successful, whole, and flourishing human being. Attention to issues of personal identity and personal ideals and how these can evolve over time.

A&HF 4900: Independent study in philosophy and education

Permission of instructor required.

A&HF 5090: The philosophy of John Dewey

For all doctoral students; master's students by permission of instructor. An analysis of the principal educational works of John Dewey.

A&HF 5093: Ways of knowing

For doctoral students, especially in Philosophy and Education; masters students by permission. Readings in epistemology in the context of teaching, learning, and educational research, from classical and enlightenment sources to feminist, hermeneutic, psychoanalytic, and postmodern critiques. Topics include objectivity and subjectivity and problems of interpretation in the arts, humanities, and natural and social sciences.

A&HF 5591: Educational debates in philosophical perspective

For all doctoral students; master's students by permission. Topics vary. Convened to promote philosophical discussion of a contemporary educational issue (e.g., patriotism, privatization, standards, technology) or ongoing debate (e.g., liberal education, moral education, standardization).

A&HF 5600: Colloquium in philosophy and education

For majors only. A series of formal presentations and discussions with scholars in the field of Philosophy and Education. Offered every fall and spring semester. Special fee: $55.

A&HF 6100: Doctoral proseminar: Modern philosophy and education

Permission of instructor required. For first- and second-year doctoral students in Philosophy and Education. Close reading and discussion of primary texts in modern philosophy that have shaped the field of philosophy of education. Complements A&HF 6000.

A&HF 6500: Dissertation proposal workshop in philosophy and education

Permission of instructor required. Prerequisites: A&HF 6000 and A&HF 6100. An ongoing writing workshop required of all doctoral students after completion of the Proseminar sequence. Students develop research interests, hone philosophical skills, and draft dissertation proposals. Offered every Fall and Spring semester.

A&HF 6590: Advanced seminar in philosophy and education

For doctoral students in Philosophy and Education or by permission of instructor. Topics vary and may range from close reading of a single text to exploration of a key concept or problematic. Past topics include contemporary theories of democratic education, cosmopolitanism and education, and conceptions of teacher education.

A&HF 6900: Advanced research in philosophy and education

Permission of instructor required. For doctoral students in Philosophy and Education only.

A&HF 7500: Dissertation seminar in philosophy and education

Permission of instructor required. Required of doctoral students in the semester following successful completion of the doctoral certification process or in the semester in which the student defends the dissertation proposal, whichever comes first.

A&HF 8900: Dissertation advisement in philosophy and education

Permission of instructor required. Individual advisement on doctoral dissertations. For requirements, see section in catalog on Continuous Registration for Ed.D./Ph.D. degrees. Fee to equal 3 points at current tuition rate for each term.

Centers and Projects

Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership
Website: http://www.klingenstein.org

Full-year and Two-Summer master’s  programs and funded fellowships in leadership development for independent school educators. Programs serve early career teachers, mid-career administrators and heads of schools from a broad range of schools around the world.  All Klingenstein Center programs focus on instructional leadership, collaboration and teamwork, a commitment to social justice and diversity, and reflective practice.