Headshot of Stephanie Mackler
Headshot of Stephanie Mackler

Stephanie Mackler

“Education is the point at which we decide whether we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it and by the same token save it from that ruin which, except for renewal, except for the coming of the new and young, would be inevitable.” -Hannah Arendt

I believe that as human beings we are, foremost, learning and teaching beings. As such, education – whether formal or informal – is at the heart of who we are and how we conduct our lives. Thus, I believe that to study education is necessarily also to study the human condition. I turn to philosophical and literary texts for insight into educational and existential questions. My expertise in both philosophy and education enables me to explore the ethical, epistemological, political, and social foundations of educational practices. More specifically, I am interested in considering the reasons and purposes – the “why” – of educational practices and policies.  There are no definitive answers to the kinds of questions I ask and encourage my students to ask in the classroom, but I believe the journey through such questions is an end in itself and that this journey is essential to being a learning, teaching, human being.




  • B.A., Mount Holyoke College
  • M.Phil, Columbia University
  • Ph.D., Columbia University


  • EDUC 100 - Critical Issues in Education
  • EDUC 270 - Education and Culture
  • EDUC 310W - Educational Theory and Philosophy
  • EDUC 330 - Liberal Education
  • EDUC 346 - Rethinking College
  • CIE 200 - The Common Intellectual Experience II

Research Interests

Dr. Mackler is currently at work on a book on Montessori’s philosophy of education. Her other research interests include: philosophy of the liberal arts, Hannah Arendt, humanistic study in education, philosophy of childhood and philosophy for children, philosophical hermeneutics.

Recent Work

Selected Recent Works Include the Following:

Mackler, Stephanie. “Let Them Eat Doughnuts: A Defense of Philosophical Parenting.” Philosophy of Education 2019. Ed. Naomi Hodgson. Urbana, IL: Philosophy of Education Society.

Mackler, Stephanie. “Clichés and Other Crimes Against Humanity.” Philosophy of Education 2018. Ed. Megan Laverty. Urbana, IL: Philosophy of Education Society.

Mackler, Stephanie. “Study: The ‘Interval’ of Liberal Learning.” Reconceptualizing Study in Educational Discourse and Practice. Ed. Claudia W. Ruitenberg. Routledge Press, 2017.

Mackler, Stephanie. “Raising a Human: an Arendtian Inquiry into Child-Rearing in a Technological Era.” Philosophy of Education 2017. Ed. Ann Chinnery. Philosophy of Education 2017. Urbana, IL: Philosophy of Education Society. In press.

Mulryan, Seamus and Stephanie Mackler. “The Existential Significance of Cinema in Educational Administration.” Journal of Aesthetic Education, 49. no. 2 (2015).

Mackler, Stephanie. “The Lone Liberal Artists in the Ed School: Reconnecting Foundations Scholars with the Liberal Arts.” Educational Studies (2014): 103-122.

Mackler, Stephanie and Alexandra Wilson. “Studying the Un-Realities of School: Using Hollywood Films toHelp Preservice Teachers Develop Cultural Competence.” Pennsylvania Teacher Educator 10, Fall 2011.

Mackler, Stephanie and Séamus Mulryan. “Reconceptualizing Educational Administration as a Hermeneutics of Trust.”Trust and Betrayal in Educational Administration and Leadership.” Eds. Eugenie Samier and Michèle Schmidt.New York: Routledge Press, 2010.

Mackler, Stephanie. “From the Positivist to the Hermeneutic University: Restoring the Place of Meaning andLiberal Learning in Higher Education.” Policy Futures in Education,8, (2), 2010.

Mackler, Stephanie. “And Worldlessness, Alas, is Always a Form of Barbarism: Hannah Arendt and the Challenge of Educating in Worldlessness Times.” Teachers College Record 112 (2), 2010.

Mackler, Stephanie. Learning for Meaning’s Sake: Toward the Hermeneutic University. Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, TheNetherlands, 2009. Awarded 2009 Critics Choice Book Award by the American Educational Studies Association(AESA).

Mackler, Stephanie. “Hermeneutic Leadership: Hannah Arendt and the Importance of Thinking What We are Doing” in Political Approaches to Educational Administration and Leadership, Ed. Eugenie Samier. New York: RoutledgePress, 2008.

Mackler, Stephanie. “Educating for Meaning in an Era of Banality.” Philosophy of Education 2007, Ed. BarbaraStengel. Urbana, IL: Philosophy of Education Society, 2008.