Professor Michael Hand

Professor Michael Hand

School of Education
Professor of Philosophy of Education
Deputy Director of the Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP

Contact details

Address
School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Michael Hand is Professor of Philosophy of Education in the School of Education and Director of the Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP. He is the Editor of IMPACT, a pamphlet series offering philosophical perspectives on current education policy. Michael's research interests are in the areas of moral, political, religious and philosophical education. He has published books and articles on education for patriotism, the nature and aims of religious education, the justifiability of faith schools, autonomy as an educational aim, philosophy in schools, teaching about sexuality, and controversial issues in the classroom. He is currently working on a theory of moral education.

Michael coordinates the School’s philosophy of education seminar series
               

Qualifications

  • DPhil in Philosophy of Education, University of Oxford
  • MSc in Educational Research Methodology, University of Manchester
  • PGCE in Primary Education, Open University
  • BA Hons in Theology and Religious Studies, University of Cambridge

Teaching

Postgraduate supervision

Michael supervises doctoral students working in the field of philosophy of education. The substantive topics on which his past and present doctoral students have worked include faith-based education, spiritual education, philosophy in schools, education for patriotism, academic freedom in higher education, ministerial training, and the interface between science and religion.

For more information on research degrees, please visit the Postgraduate Research pages.

PhD opportunities

Research

Michael is currently working on a theory of moral education. The theory is an attempt to solve the problem for moral education posed by reasonable disagreement about morality. Moral education aims to bring it about that children subscribe to moral standards and believe them to be justified; but, in the face of reasonable disagreement about the content and justification of morality, it is hard to see how this aim can be realised without resorting to indoctrinatory forms of teaching. Michael distinguishes between two kinds of moral education (moral formation and moral inquiry) and between two kinds of moral inquiry (directive and nondirective). He tries to show that, while people reasonably disagree about many moral standards and justificatory arguments, there are some basic moral standards that enjoy a robust justification. Children can be brought to subscribe to these standards and believe them to be justified, without resorting to indoctrination, by means of moral formation and directive moral inquiry.

Publications

Selected publications

Hand, M. (2016) Education for moral seriousness, in Hand, M. and Davies, R. (eds) Education, Ethics and Experience: Essays in Honour of Richard Pring, London: Routledge, pp.48-61. 

Hand, M. (2015) Religious education and religious choice, in Journal of Beliefs and Values 36 (1), pp.31-39. DOI:10.1080/13617672.2015.1013817

Hand, M. (2014) Beyond moral education? in Suissa, J., Winstanley, C. and Marples, R. (eds) Education, Philosophy and Wellbeing: New Perspectives on the Work of John White, London: Routledge, pp.99-111. 

Hand, M. (2014) Towards a theory of moral education, in Journal of Philosophy of Education 48 (4), pp.519-532. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9752.12116

Hand, M. (2014) On the idea of non-confessional faith-based education, in Chapman, J.D., McNamara, S., Reiss, M.J. and Waghid, Y. (eds) International Handbook of Learning, Teaching and Leading in Faith-Based Schools, Dordrecht: Springer, pp.193-205.

Hand, M. (2013) ‘Framing classroom discussion of same-sex marriage’, in Educational Theory 63 (5), pp.497-510.

Hand, M. (2012) A new dawn for faith-based education? Opportunities for religious organisations in the UK's new school system', Journal of Philosophy of Education 46 (4), p.546-559. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9752.2012.00878.x

Hand, M. (2012) ‘What’s in a worldview? On Trevor Cooling’s Doing God in Education’, in Oxford Review of Education 38 (5), pp.527-537. DOI: DOI: 10.1080/03054985.2012.722862

Hand, M. (2011) Patriotism in Schools (IMPACT 19). Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain. DOI: 10.1111/j.2048-416X.2011.00001.x

Hand, M. (2011) Should we promote patriotism in schools?, Political Studies 59 (2), 328-347. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9248.2010.00855.x

Hand, M. (2009) On the worthwhileness of theoretical activities, Journal of Philosophy of Education 43 (s2), 109-121. (Reprinted in Cuypers, S.E. & Martin, C. (eds) Reading R.S. Peters Today: analysis, ethics and the aims of education, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, pp.106-118.) DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9752.2009.00732.x

Hand, M. (2009) What should go on the curriculum? in Bailey, R. (ed), Philosophy of Education: An Introduction. London: Continuum, pp.48-59.

Hand, M. (2008) What should we teach as controversial? A defence of the epistemic criterion, Educational Theory 58 (2), pp.213-228. DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-5446.2008.00285.x

Hand, M. (2008) Can children be taught philosophy?  in Hand, M. & Winstanley, C. (eds), Philosophy in Schools. London: Continuum, pp.3-17.

Hand, M. (2007) ‘Should we teach homosexuality as a controversial issue?’, in Theory and Research in Education 5 (1), pp.69-86. DOI10.1177/1477878507073614

Hand, M. (2006) Is Religious Education Possible? A philosophical investigation, London: Continuum.

Full publication list for Professor Michael Hand (PDF, opens new window)

Expertise

Philosophy of education; moral, political, religious and philosophical education; education for patriotism, teaching sexuality; the aims of religious education; faith schools; philosophy for children; teaching of controversial issues.

Expertise

Philosophy of education; moral, political, religious and philosophical education; education for patriotism, teaching sexuality; the aims of religious education; faith schools; philosophy for children; teaching of controversial issues.