Denis C. Phillips

Denis C. Phillips
Professor Emeritus of Education and, by courtesy, of Philosophy, Stanford University

Bio and Research Interest

D.C. Phillips moved from Australia to Stanford University in 1974, where he is now Professor Emeritus of Education and, by courtesy, of Philosophy; he also served as Associate Dean and Interim Dean of the Graduate School of Education, and during the 1980s he succeeded Lee Cronbach as director of the Stanford Evaluation Training Program. Denis is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Education, a fellow of the International Academy of Education, a past-president of the Philosophy of Education Society, and in 2001-2 he was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He served three terms as president of the Stanford chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

Denis served as a science teacher in Melbourne before earning his master’s degree and his doctorate which was on organicism or holism in John Dewey’s thought (University of Melbourne, 1968). However, the bulk of his work over the past few decades has been in philosophy of social science/educational research, and history of 19th and 20th century thought, including the development of theories of learning. He is author, co-author or editor of seventeen books, and has published more than one hundred and thirty journal essays and book chapters; recent books include The Encyclopedia of Educational Theory and Philosophy (2 vols.); A Companion to John Dewey’s “Democracy and Education”; Education, Culture, and Epistemological Diversity (with Claudia Ruitenberg); Postpositivism and Educational Research (with N. Burbules); The Expanded Social Scientist’s Bestiary; and he also participated in writing the National Research Council report, Scientific Research in Education. Perhaps his best known scholarly paper is “The good, the bad, and the ugly: The many faces of constructivism” (Educational Researcher, 1995), which has been very widely cited.  



University of Melbourne, 1968


back to top