Graduate Institute

Center for Ethics and Education Graduate Institute

2019 McPherson Fellows at Diana Hess' house

Diana Hess, the dean of UW-Madison’s School of Education, hosted the 2018-2019 McPherson Fellows, along with Center staff, at her home for dinner during the 2018 summer course.

The Center for Ethics and Education is pleased to announce the continuation of its Graduate Institute in philosophy of education. The aim of the institute is to support the cultivation of new scholars with the knowledge and skills for future philosophical engagement with education.

The Institute is structured in three major components: 1) a ten-day intensive summer course; 2) the subsequent development of a paper based on the participant’s particular interests in the course material; and 3) workshops to develop and (potentially) present these papers at national conferences.

Stay tuned for dates of our next Graduate Institute!

Past Programs

2018-19 Graduate Institute

The 2018-19 program began in the summer of 2018 and will meet once in the winter and spring of 2019.

Summer Course

The summer course was taught by the Directors of the Center for Ethics and Education: Harry Brighouse, Tony Laden, and Paula McAvoy. The summer program also included multi-day sessions with invited scholars, including Lauren Gatti (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Jennifer Jennings (Princeton University), and Linn Posey-Maddox (University of Wisconsin-Madison).
The summer course focused on two themes: 1) values and evidence in educational policy-making and 2) ethics and teaching. Participants were asked to examine a variety of philosophic work on these themes and to consider relevant social science research that helps us understand and identify questions of philosophic interest. At the end of the course, students developed an abstract for a future paper, which they submitted to the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) annual conference.

Winter and Spring

In the winter and spring of 2019, participants will regroup to discuss drafts of their papers during a workshop to be held just prior to the American Philosophical Association’s (APA) Central Division conference (February 20-February 23 in Denver). A second workshop to review final drafts will be held just prior to AERA’s Annual Meeting (April 5-April 9 in Toronto).
Participants’ expenses will be covered for all meetings, including: travel, accommodations, lunches, and select dinner events during the summer course, the APA Conference and workshop, and the AERA conference and workshop. Additionally, the CEE will provide all necessary summer course materials and cover registration fees for the APA and AERA conferences.

Bios of the 2018-19 Graduate Fellows
Bios of the 2016-17 Graduate Fellows

Application Processs and Materials

Applicants for the program should be graduate students from schools of education, philosophy departments, or related fields who are interested in pursuing normative questions of policy and practice in education.

Submission requirements:

  • A 1-2 page statement explaining your interest in the Institute and in pursuing philosophical work on education
  • A writing sample of 10-15 pages, in the citation format of your choice
  • One letter of recommendation
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • An unofficial transcript

For any additional information or inquiries please contact Abby Beneke at

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Ellis Reid and Kirsten Welch chatting

2018-2019 McPherson Fellows, Ellis Reid and Kirsten Welch, engage in conversation during the Graduate Institute’s summer course.

Pedro Monque and Garry  Mitchell discussing a book

2018-2019 McPherson Fellows, Pedro Monque and Garry Mitchell, discuss Educational Goods: Values, Evidence, and Decision-Making (Brighouse, Ladd, Loeb, & Swift, 2018).

McPherson Fellows convened on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus in summer 2018

The 2018-2019 McPherson Fellows convened on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus in summer 2018 for an intensive 10-day course in the philosophy of education.