Nicholas C. Burbules

Nicholas C. Burbules

Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor
Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Bio and Research Interest

Nicholas C. Burbules is the Gutgsell Professor in the Department of Educational Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

His primary research areas are philosophy of education; teaching through dialogue; and technology and education.  

His current philosophical work focuses primarily on the idea of “situated” philosophy of education, a way of reframing the question of whether philosophy of education is merely a derivative branch of pure philosophy or an “applied” field. His current work on technology emphasizes the topic of ubiquitous learning, the study of new models of “anywhere, anytime” teaching and learning arising from the proliferation of mobile technologies and pervasive wireless connectivity. 

He is currently the Education Director for the National Center on Professional and Research Ethics, located at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 

His most recent books are Showing and Doing: Wittgenstein as a Pedagogical Philosopher, coauthored with Michael Peters and Paul Smeyers (2010, Paradigm Press) and Feminisms and Educational Research, coauthored with Wendy Kohli (2012, Rowman and Littlefield). He co-edited, with Paul Smeyers, David Bridges, and Morwenna Griffiths, the International Handbook of Interpretation in Educational Research (Springer, 2015).


Stanford University, 1983


Nicholas C. Burbules, “How we use and are used by social media in education.” Educational Theory, Vol. 66 No. 4 (2016): 551-565.         

Nicholas C. Burbules, “Philosophical reflections on editing.” Educational Theory, Vol. 64 No.4 (2014): 317-331. 

Nicholas C. Burbules, “Some problems with the neuroscience research program.” Clarence Joldersma, ed., Neuroscience and Education: A Philosophical Appraisal (New York: Routledge, 2016), pp. 194-207.

Chris Higgins and Nicholas C. Burbules, “Teaching and translating.” Philosophy of Education Society Yearbook, 2011, Robert Kunzman, ed. (Urbana, Illinois: Philosophy of Education Society, 2012): 369-376.    

Paul Smeyers and Nicholas C. Burbules, “How to improve your impact factor: Questioning the quantification of academic quality.” Journal of Philosophy of Education, Vol. 45 No. 1 (2011): 1-17. 

Contact Information

Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
1310 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Phone:  217-244-0919
Fax: 217-244-7064

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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