Faculty Directory

Chris Higgins

Department Chair, Department of Formative Education

Associate Professor


DFE Department of Formative Education


Chris Higgins coordinates the program in Transformative Educational Studies and co-directs the Formative Leadership Education Project. A philosopher of education, Higgins seeks to articulate the existential dimensions of teaching and learning, defend the idea of education as a public good, and recall education to its humane roots. He has written on: the dynamics of the teacher-student relationship; action research and the philosophy of inquiry; ignorance and openmindedness; humanism and liberal learning; imagination and aesthetic education; practice and vocational formation, and the experimental tradition in higher education. His book, The Good Life of Teaching: An Ethics of Professional Practice (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011) offers one of the first systematic extensions of virtue ethics to questions concerning work and professional identity. His current book project, entitled Humane Learning: Formative Essays on Educational Integrity, is an inquiry into the problems and possibilities of formative higher education.

Recent Grants, Fellowships, and Awards

Higgins, C., Scanlon, M., and Wortham, S. (co-PIs) (2021), "Expanding the Reach of Formative Leadership Education by Building Communities of Practice," $1.5M grant from the Kern Family Foundation. LSEHD.

Higgins, C., and Lowe, E. (co-PIs) (2012), “The Centrality of Translation to the Humanities: New Interdisciplinary Scholarship” ($157,083), Summer Institute for College Teachers, National Endowment for the Humanities, Urbana, IL.