IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Centre for Philosophy of Education

Drawing together research and collaboration to examine philosophical approaches in education.

Head of centre: Professor Paul Standish
Operational Director: Professor Jan Derry

Our centre is committed to rigorous exploitation of a variety of philosophical approaches, encompassing such topics as the aims of education, teaching, learning, and the curriculum, democracy, citizenship, philosophy with children, new technology, and the environment.

About us 


Philosophy has been essential to the work of IOE since its inception.

When practical questions in education are pursued rigorously, they typically lead to philosophical enquiry, into the nature of knowledge, the characteristics of the just society, and the nature of the good life. But such questions involve not only ethics, epistemology, and politics, but also metaphysical matters, to do with subjectivity, objectivity, and truth.

IOE has, through the decades, been in the vanguard of the development and dissemination of work in the field. Its Centre for Philosophy draws together research across the range of IOE as well as showcasing our extensive connections in the field.

Members of the Centre are active in leading international organisations in the field, including:

Our staff

Core Philosophy staff

Invited members from across IOE

Associate members

Leading members of philosophy and related departments in other universities:

  • Larry Blum, University of Massachusetts
  • Vincent Colapietro, Pennsylvania State University
  • David Cooper, Durham University
  • Andrew Feenberg, Simon Fraser University
  • Professor Larry Hickman, Center for Dewey Studies and Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • Michael Luntley, Warwick University
  • Susan Mendus, York University
  • Adrian Moore, Oxford University
  • Daniele Moyal-Sharrock, President, British Wittgenstein Society
  • Adam Swift, UCL
  • Ken Westphal, University of East Anglia
  • Meredith Williams, Johns Hopkins University
  • Jonathan Wolff, Oxford University

Study with us 


We support research students and training through:

  • The Doctoral School - Research Training Programme, the EdD programme and postdoctoral fellowship
  • Research Days for doctoral students in philosophy of education which are held on a termly basis. These include reading sessions and opportunities for students to present their work.

For more info contact Jan Derry: j.derry@ucl.ac.uk

Master's degrees


Our academic staff publish, teach and speak widely on a range of topical educational issues, including:

  • the arts and creativity
  • character education
  • citizenship and belonging
  • the humanities
  • human rights
  • inclusion, disability and special educational needs
  • knowledge and the curriculum
  • language and translation
  • race and racism
  • technology
  • student-teacher relationships.
Our research

Examples of research carried out at the centre include:

  • "An evaluation of the use of Philosophy for Children in Southwark primary schools" for Southwark Local Education Authority - Jan Derry, Karen Spence-Thomas and Carol Taylor.
  • "The Morality of School choice; An Exploration of British Social Attitudes" - Sonia Exley and Judith Suissa.
  • "Changing Discourses of the Parent-Child Relationship" - an AHRC funded interdisciplinary seminar series - Judith Suissa and Stefan Ramaekers.
  • "Should patriotism be promoted, tolerated or discouraged in British schools?" - Michael Hand, Director of the Nuffield Foundation project.
  • Philosophy of Technology Enhanced Learning special interest group - Jan Derry.

See details on:

UCL Research Portal, IRIS to find more about our researchers, publications, activities, groups and themes.

Public engagement

The Philosophy Centre runs a weekly Philosophy of Education Research Seminar, in conjunction with the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, every Wednesday evening during term time.

Latest news

Funnelback feed: https://cms-feed.ucl.ac.uk/s/search.json?collection=drupal-ioe-news&meta...Double click the feed URL above to edit

 Forthcoming events

Funnelback feed: https://cms-feed.ucl.ac.uk/s/search.json?collection=drupal-ioe-events&me...Double click the feed URL above to edit