Suzanne Rice

School of Education - Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
Ph.D., Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Primary office:
Joseph R. Pearson Hall
Room 435
University of Kansas
1122 West Campus Rd
Lawrence, KS 66045-3101

Suzanne Rice has taught courses in foundations of education (philosophy, history, and sociology of education), as well as in curriculum, pedagogy and the organization and governance of schools. Rice conducts research mainly in foundations of education with an emphasis in philosophy of education. Foundations of education research draws on established academic disciplines in order to illuminate educational phenomena. Philosophy of education, as one facet of foundations, brings the discipline of philosophy to bear on educational questions and concerns. Rice’s primary areas of interest include: (1) pedagogical communication, (2) educational policy (understood broadly), and (3) ethics.


Ph.D., Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

M.S., Educational Studies, University of Utah

B.S., Education, University of Utah


I believe that classroom teaching in my discipline should aim not only to impart specific content, but also to enable students to evaluate and use content in light of their own interests and aims. I believe, further, that teaching should embody and model respect for one’s subject and for persons. I believe, finally, that, generally speaking, in a professional school such as Education, teaching should be geared toward helping students actually engage in the practice or discipline under study. In my Philosophy of Education I courses, I help students practice philosophy of education, in contrast to merely learning about the discipline or its historical or contemporary practitioners.

My approach to classroom teaching differs somewhat in different courses, depending mainly on my perception of students’ needs and the specific course content, but there are certain similarities in approach across courses that reflect my philosophy of teaching, sketched above. First, over the years I have become convinced of the value of having students read primary source works. My use of primary source readings is intended to help students develop and defend their own interpretations of particular authors, and to evaluate the adequacy of these authors’ analyses, positions, etc. Second, I encourage discussion, both in small and large groups. I do so largely by posing questions that are sufficiently open-ended to bear a range of possible responses and by explicitly inviting students to pose questions themselves, to both their fellow students and me. I find that such discussions help deepen students’ understandings of key issues and ideas and provide a forum in which they can “test” their interpretations and positions. When I began teaching, I relied almost exclusively on readings as the initial spark to discussions; however, I have come to believe that some students can be engaged more deeply in conversation when presented with alternatives, such as films and audio recordings, and have included such media when appropriate. Third, I generally ask students to complete several writing assignments, each designed to address different aspects of philosophical inquiry. For example, one assignment may ask students to discuss and defend their interpretation of a particular reading; another may ask students to ideologically critique a work; and another may ask students to compare and contrast the relative strengths of two or more authors. Because I have such diverse students, for each writing assignment I always provide multiple topics from which to choose.

Because of its significance for students’ intellectual and professional development, I go to some length to improve students’ writing. I do this in several ways, including: providing examples of good writing for students to evaluate and emulate; encouraging students’ use of KU’s Writing Center; and reading and commenting on multiple drafts of papers and other work.

In all the courses I have taught to date, I have evaluated students’ learning mainly on the basis of the questions they pose, their participation in discussions, and their essays, exams, and other writing assignments. While students’ first efforts count, as I evaluate their performance I look for greater competence and sophistication in these three areas over time.

Teaching Interests

  • Social and cultural studies in education
  • Philosophy of education
  • Ethics in education
  • Critical pedagogies
  • Educational listening
  • Feminisms and education


I conduct research mainly in foundations of education with an emphasis in philosophy of education. Foundations of education research draws on established academic disciplines, including anthropology, history, philosophy, psychology, and sociology in order to illuminate educational phenomena. Philosophy of education, as one facet of “foundations,” brings the discipline of philosophy to bear on educational questions and concerns. My primary areas of interest include: (1) pedagogical communication and (2) educational policy (understood broadly). While much of my scholarship falls clearly within these areas, I also work on topics whose relation to communication or policy may not be apparent. My work on the relation between children’s literature and intellectual virtues and the educational significance of human/non-human animal relations are two examples. What unifies the entire body of my scholarship is its focus on the ethical and moral (broadly conceived) dimensions of educational phenomena.

Research Interests

  • Philosophy of education
  • John Dewey
  • Paulo Freire
  • Educational listening
  • Animal and youth welfare



I have been active in many different sorts and levels of service.

National/International: In 2012 (and reaching into 2013) I served on the program committee of the Philosophy of Education Society and it that capacity also serve as an associate editor of Philosophy of Education 2013.

I served on the editorial review board of Educational Theory and as a manuscript reviewer for that journal. I also reviewed manuscripts on an ad hoc basis for several other journals.

In 2012 I served (and continue to serve) on the editorial board of the journal Asian Women.

In 2011 and into 2012 I was an external evaluator for a major research university, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. I wrote the ten page executive summary of the review. This was a very significant investment of time and effort.

University: I continued to serve on the Executive Council of Graduate Faculty. This has been very time consuming and labor intensive, as we review the vast majority of policies and proposed policies affecting graduate education at KU. We also review and evaluate all KU’s graduate programs. Certain scholarships, awards, and graduate student research activities are also under the purview of this committee.

I served on the University Senate and Faculty Senate through Spring 2012.

School of Education: My biggest effort for the SoE during 2012 (and carrying over into 2013) has been on the ad hoc committees trying to develop school-wide policies governing the evaluation of faculty scholarship. I am also on the parallel committee concerned with teaching. While I serve on a committee for the Institute for Educational Research and Public Service, we did on meet in 2012.

ELPS Department: I served as a replacement member of this committee starting in fall 2011 and now serve as a regular member.

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D., Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne, Illinois, 1993
  • M.S., Educational Studies, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1987
  • B.S., Education, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1980

Research Interests

  • Philosophy of Education and Critical Education Studies
  • Ethics and moral theory
  • Philosophy of John Dewey

Recent Publications

  • Rice, Suzanne. "An Aristotelian Account of Listening," Educational Theory (forthcoming).
  • Rice, Suzanne. "Howard Gardner's Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed: Educating for the Virtues in the Twenty-First Century." Teachers College Record.
  • Rice, Suzanne and Nicholas C. Burbules. "Listening: A Virtue Account," Teachers College Record 113, No. 10 (2011).
  • Burbules, Nicholas C. and Suzanne Rice. "On Pretending to Listen," Teachers College Record 113, no. 10 (2011).
  • Mahlios, Marc, Reva Friedman-Nimz, Suzanne Rice, Vicki Peyton, and Brenna O'Brien. "Measuring Teachers' Curricular Beliefs: from Hong Kong to the United States." Curriculum and Teaching 25, no. 2, 2010: 81-99.


Dept Number Course Name
ELPS 771 Philosophy Of Education
C&T 907 Critical Pedagogies

Related Information

Awards/Honors/Major Service

  • School of Education Faculty Achievement Award for Scholarship (University of Kansas) 2007.
  • Gene A. Budig Teaching Professorship (University of Kansas) 2003-2004.
  • Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching (University of Kansas) 2002.
  • Fink Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching (University of Kansas) 2002.
  • School of Education Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching (University of Kansas) 2002.
  • School of Education Faculty Achievement Award for Scholarship (University of Kansas) 2000.

Program Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (emphasis: Foundations of Education)

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