Professor Michael Hand

Professor Michael Hand

School of Education
Professor of Philosophy of Education
University Director of Postgraduate Research

Contact details

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 Postgraduate Research in the University Graduate School. He is Vice-Chair of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain and Series Editor of Bloomsbury Philosophy of Education.

Michael's research interests are in the areas of moral, political, religious and philosophical education. His books include A Theory of Moral Education (Routledge, 2018), Education, Ethics and Experience (Routledge, 2015), Patriotism in Schools (Wiley, 2011), Philosophy in Schools (Bloomsbury, 2008) and Is Religious Education Possible? (Bloomsbury, 2006). Further details can be found on his personal website.

Michael coordinates the School’s philosophy of education seminar series.


  • 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


Postgraduate supervision

Michael supervises doctoral students working in the field of philosophy of education, primarily in the areas of moral, political, religious and philosophical education. He is currently supervising doctoral theses on the place of philosophy on the school curriculum, the ethics of belief in the classroom, existential thinking in religious education, and tackling extremism through philosophy in schools.


Michael works on a range of topics in philosophy of education, including:

  • the nature and aims of moral education
  • teaching controversial issues
  • education for patriotism
  • philosophy in schools
  • the nature and aims of religious education
  • the justifiability of faith schools
  • relationships and sex education
  • autonomy as an educational aim
  • punishment in schools



Recent publications


Hand, M 2024, 'Tillson on religious initiation', Journal of Philosophy of Education, vol. 58, no. 1, qhae010, pp. 104-107.

Hand, M 2023, 'Education, extremism, and aversion to compromise', Educational Theory, vol. 73, no. 3, pp. 341-354.

Hand, M 2023, 'Hirst on rational moral education', Journal of Philosophy of Education, vol. 57, no. 1, pp. 308-322.

Hand, M 2022, 'Consent and mutuality in sex education', Journal of Philosophy of Education, vol. 56, no. 5, pp. 677-684.

Tesar, M, Hytten, K, Hoskins, TK, Rosiek, J, Jackson, AY, Hand, M, Roberts, P, Opiniano, GA, Matapo, J, St. Pierre, EA, Azada-palacios, R, Kuby, CR, Jones, A, Mazzei, LA, Maruyama, Y, O'donnell, A, Dixon-román, E, Chengbing, W, Huang, Z, Chen, L, Peters, M & Jackson, L 2022, 'Philosophy of education in a new key: future of philosophy of education', Educational Philosophy and Theory, vol. 54, no. 8, pp. 1234-1255.

Hand, M 2020, 'Autonomy, practical rationality and being at one with oneself: a reply to Wendelborn', Oxford Review of Education, vol. 46, no. 6, pp. 672-677.

Hand, M 2020, 'Defining morality, applying standards and shaping attitudes: replies to Copson, Hobbs and Kotzee', Journal of Beliefs and Values, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 237-240.

Hand, M 2020, 'Directing moral inquiry: A rejoinder to Cam, Sowey, Lockrobin, Splitter, Sprod and Knight', Journal of Philosophy in Schools, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 89-102.

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Hand, M 2024, Re-engineering educational concepts: a note of caution. in J Gatley & C Norefalk (eds), Conceptual Engineering in Education: Philosophical Analysis for Educational Problems. Philosophy of Education. Debates and Constellations, Brill, pp. 32-45.

Hand, M 2023, Against flourishing as an educational aim. in J Beale & C Easton (eds), The Future of Education: Reimagining Its Aims and Responsibilities. Oxford University Press.

Hand, M 2023, Moral education and democratic education. in J Culp, J Drerup & D Yacek (eds), The Cambridge Handbook of Democratic Education. Cambridge Handbooks in Education, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 146-159.


D'Olimpio, L & Hand, M 2023, 'Symposium introduction: education against extremism', Educational Theory, vol. 73, no. 3, pp. 337-340.

Hand, M 2022, 'Editorial introduction', Impact, vol. 2022, no. 27, pp. 2-4.

Hand, M & Parker, SG 2022, 'Introduction: policy special issue on Relationships and Sex Education', Journal of Philosophy of Education, vol. 56, no. 5, pp. 641-644.

Hand, M 2021, 'Editorial introduction', Impact, vol. 2020, no. 26, pp. 2-4.

View all publications in research portal


philosophy of education; moral education; political education; religious education; sex and relationships education; teaching controversial issues; education for patriotism; faith schools; philosophy in schools


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.