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Lauren Bialystok

Lauren Bialystok
Associate Professor

phone: 416-978-0412

Department: Social Justice Education

Research Overview

My background is in philosophy and my interests include ethics and education, feminist philosophy, social and political philosophy, and women's health and sexuality. Currently I am working on social justice education in the liberal state and Ontario's new sex education curriculum.

Academic History

Ph.D. Philosophy, University of Toronto
B.A. Philosophy and German, University of Pennsylvania

Teaching Overview

I teach topics in ethics and education. Courses include:

Liberalism and its Critics
Identity and Education
Contemporary Ethical Issues in Education
Applied Ethics in Higher Education
Introduction to Philosophy of Education
Gender and Education

Representative Publications

Bialystok, L. (2020). “Political and Metaphysical: Reflections on Identity, Education, and Justice.”  Philosophical Inquiry in Education, 27:2: 153-169. 

Bialystok, L. (2020). “First-Person Authority and Positionality as Bridges in Social Justice Education.”  Philosophy of Education Society, 76.2: 1-16.

Bialystok, L., Wright, J., Berzins, T., Guy, C., & Osborne, E. (2020). “The Appropriation of Sex Education by Conservative Populism.”  Curriculum Inquiry, 50.4.Bialystok, L. (2019). “Ontario Health and Physical Education Teachers’ Views of the Aims of Sexuality Education.”  Canadian Journal of Education 42.1: 1-41.

Bialystok, L. (2019). “How Open Should Open-Mindedness Be?” Educational Theory 69.4: 529-537.

Bialystok, L., Norris, T., & Pinto, L.  (2019). “Teaching and Learning Philosophy in Ontario High Schools.”  Journal of Curriculum Studies 51.5: 678-697.

Bialystok, L. & Kingwell, M. (2019). “The Fragility of Fairness:  Rethinking the Ethics of the Women’s Category in Sports.”  Games, Sports, and Play. Ed. Tom Hurka.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 155-175.

Bialystok, L.  (2018). “My Child, My Choice?  Mandatory Curriculum, Sex, and the Conscience of Parents.” Educational Theory 68.1: 11-29.

Bialystok, L. and P. Kukar. (2018). “Authenticity and Empathy in Education.” Theory and Research in Education 16.1: 23-39.

Bialystok, L. and Wright, J.  (2017). “’Just Say No’: Public Dissent over Sexuality Education and the Canadian National Imaginary.”  Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 40.4: 343-357.

Bialystok, L.  (2017). “Philosophy across the Curriculum and the Question of Teacher Capacity.” Journal of Philosophy of Education 51.4: 827-836. 

Bialystok, L.  (2017). “Authenticity in Education.” The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education.  Ed. George Noblit.  Oxford University Press.  Doi:

Bialystok, L.  (2014). “Respect without Recognition:  A Critique of the OCSTA’s ‘Respecting Difference’ Policy.”  Paideusis:  Canadian Journal of Philosophy of Education 22.1: 8-18.

Bialystok, L.  (2014). “Politics without ‘Brainwashing’:  A Philosophical Defence of Social Justice Education.”  Curriculum Inquiry 44.3: 413-440.

Research Grants and Contracts

See "Touchy Subject: Sexuality Education in Ontario Schools" research website:

2016 Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant, "Touchy Subject: Investigating Aims and Values in Ontario's Controversial 2015 Sex Education Update"

2013 Co-Investigator, Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Standard Research Grant, "Teaching and Learning High School Philosophy in Ontario Schools"

2013 Connaught New Researcher Fellowship (University of Toronto) "Refining the Authenticity Discourse in Education"

Honours and Awards

2018 OISE Distinguished Contributions to Teaching

Fall 2015 Visiting Fellow, Centre for Ethics (University of Toronto)

Professional Activities

Selected media appearances

Global News (tv)
April 27, 2020

Radio Canada (French CBC)
September 10, 2020

The Globe and Mail
August 30, 2019

CTV News (Toronto)
July 22, 2018

CTV News National Edition
August 21, 2019

Selected online publications

"Doug Ford's Reboot of Sex Education in Ontario: Same as it ever
Was." The Conversation. August 26, 2019.

"'But Mom, I Have to Wear a Skirt to Look Pretty!' Reflections on the
Contradictions of Being a Feminist Mother." Beauty Demands. March 18, 2019.

"I Bawled the Last Time I Breastfed My Child." Huffington Post. January 21, 2016.

"Home Birth: Dispatch from a Convert." Canadian Medical Association Journal Blogs. May 21, 2015.

Scholarly Videos:

"Populism and Sex Education in Ontario"

"A Brief Dialogue on Open-Mindedness"

"Navigating the Land Mines of Social Justice Education"

"Education as Ethics"
Early Career Faculty Colloquium, OISE