David Hansen speaking

David Hansen

Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University

In his introduction to Ethical Visions of Education, volume editor David Hansen wrote that “ideas have consequences” and also that “ideas do not spring from a vacuum, and they are never inevitable.” With these words, Dr. Hansen put his finger on a key reason why education is so important and why the Center’s work engaging in dialogue to develop the ideas and convictions to build peace cultures in the 21st century is so vital. For many decades, Dr. Hansen has shared his insights with students at Columbia University’s Teachers College, where he is John L & Sue Ann Weinberg Professor in Historical & Philosophical Foundations of Education. His faculty page describes some of the ways he has addressed the moral and ethical dimensions of teaching and learning, saying: “He has studied extensively the educational thought of figures such as Plato, Michel de Montaigne, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and John Dewey.  He has focused on the relations between cosmopolitanism as an outlook on the human condition and the practice of education, and at present is drawing out the ramifications of ‘bearing witness’ as an orientation toward teaching and teachers.” Dr. Hansen is featured in a number of resources on our site: An interview on his educational philosophy; a lecture on themes from Ethical Visions; and as a participant at our 2009 Ikeda Forum on Dewey, Ikeda, and a new humanism. Key themes from his introduction to Ethical Visions are summarized here.

Photo by Marilyn Humphries