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Dwight Boyd

Dwight Boyd
Professor Emeritus

phone: (416) 978-1229

Leadership, Higher and Adult Education
Social Justice Education

Research Overview

His main research and teaching interests are in philosophy of education, but with particular attention to where issues in this field intersect with some in developmental psychology. His specific interests include:

•philosophical problems in conceptualizing and justifying moral education in public schools;
•the intersection of feminist ethics and education;
•critiques of liberalism, and, in particular, of Rawls in the context of the problems of racism;
•justification of education within commitments to multiculturalism;
•critique of Ontario’s current “Character Matters” approach to moral education;
•the role of philosophy in high school education.

Representative Publications

Decoste, J. and Boyd, D. (In Press). “An ‘Ideal Home for Care: Nel Noddings, Thomas Green, and an Ontological Support for a Phenomenology of Care.” Interchange.

“The Hazards of (Some) Character Education for a Liberal Democracy.” (Translated and printed in Chinese) Open Times. (2006) No. 5, pp. 54-63.    “The Legacies of Liberalism and Oppressive Relations: Facing a Dilemma for the Subject of Moral Education.” (Translated and reprinted in Chinese) Open Times. (2006) no. 1, pp. 125-139.

Helwig, C., M.L. Arnold, D. Tan, and D. Boyd, “Chinese Adolescents’ Reasoning about Democratic and Authority-based Decision Making in Peer, Family, and School Contexts,” Child Development, (2003) Vol. 74, pp. 1-18.

"The Place of Locating Oneself(ves)/Myself(ves) in Doing Philosophy of Education." (Presidential Address). In Susan Laird, ed. Philosophy of Education 1997. Urbana-Champaign, Illinois: The Philosophy of Education Society, 1998, pp. 1-19.
"Dominance Concealed through Diversity: Implications of Inadequate Perspectives on Cultural Pluralism," Harvard Educational Review. Vol. 66, No. 3, Fall 1996, pp. 609-630.

Honours and Awards

In 1993 he received from the Association for Moral Education the “Kuhmerker Award” for distinguished contribution and service to the field of moral education.

Professional Activities

Dwight Boyd earned his B.A. with “Highest Distinction” from the University of Kansas in 1967, majoring in Philosophy, and including language studies in German and Chinese. From there he went to Harvard, earning his M.Ed. in 1968 and his Ed.D. in 1976 from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, both in Philosophy of Education but with an interdisciplinary focus that included study with Scheffler, Rawls, and Kohlberg. He taught his whole career in the graduate program of Philosophy of Education at OISE, retiring in 2008, but still active in both research and doctoral supervisions. From 1999 to 2003 he held the position of Adjunct Professor and Foreign Advisor in the Research Institute of Moral Education, Nanjing Normal University; and from 1994 to 2002 he was an Associate Member of the Centre for Bioethics, University of Toronto. He has served as President of the Philosophy of Education Society (1997), the Association for Moral Education (1989-92), and the Ontario Moral/Values Association (1987-88). From 1981 to 1996 he was the Assistant Editor of the Journal of Moral Education, functioning as the Editor for all North American submissions to that journal; he continued to serve on the Editorial Board of the JME until 2005, at which time he became an “Honorary Associate.” He has served as Hospitality Chair for the Annual Conferences of the Philosophy of Education and the Association for Moral Education multiple times during his career, bringing the former to OISE three times (1979, 2001, 2004) and the latter, two times (1985, 1992).

Other Information

General Interests:

Dr. Boyd is an (putting it mildly) avid fisherman, especially fly fishing, regularly engaging in piscatorial pursuits far afield, for species ranging from bonefish (Christmas Island), to Atlantic salmon (Labrador), to lake trout (Northwest Territories), to Pacific Salmon and Steelhead (Ontario and Vancouver Island), to Redfish (deep Texas), to Bass (Kansas family farm, Ontario, Texas), to Pike (Ontario, Saskatchewan).