About the Justice in Schools Team

        Meira Levinson

Meira Levinson

Meira Levinson is an associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  She is a normative political philosopher who writes about civic education, multiculturalism, youth empowerment, and educational justice. In doing so, she draws upon scholarship from multiple disciplines as well as her eight years of experience teaching in the Atlanta and Boston Public Schools.  She consistently attempts to bring scholarship, policy, and educational practice into rigorous conversation with one another, in the belief that this kind of cross-fertilization can produce some of the most intellectually and practically generative work.

Levinson has published four books:


She has also published dozens of articles and book chapters, some of which can be accessed for free here.  A national leader in civic education, Levinson serves on advisory committees or boards of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, CIRCLE/Tisch College, Generation Citizen, National Action Civics Collaborativethe Civic and Moral Education Initiative at Harvard, and Theory and Research in Education.  She is also a writer for the newly-drafted, multi-state College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards. 

Levinson earned a DPhil in political theory from Nuffield College, Oxford, and her BA in philosophy from Yale University.  She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston.

Click here for a complete c.v.

Brendan Randall


Brendan Randall is a recovering lawyer and teacher studying religion, law and education as a doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). He is interested in how schools can prepare students to live in a religiously diverse democratic society and his research focuses on religiously-motivated student speech on controversial social issues. Brendan also has a Master of Education from HGSE in school leadership and a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School in religion, ethics, and politics. Before returning to graduate school, Brendan taught history, applied ethics and comparative religion at the Emma Willard School, an independent, all-girls boarding school in Troy, NY.


Jacob Fay


Jacob Fay is a third-year doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education focusing on the history and philosophy of education. His research interests include the history of liberalism in American public education, non-ideal theory, issues of distributive justice in schools, and the normative foundations of public education. In addition, Jacob is currently a Co-Chair of the Harvard Educational Review. Before enrolling at Harvard, Jacob taught 8th grade history at the Dwight-Englewood School in Englewood, NJ. He earned an MA in American History from Brandeis University and an AB in History from Princeton University


Tom Preston


Tom Preston is a Master's student at Harvard Graduate School of Education. He studied philosophy and politics at Oxford before training as an English teacher and teaching in state secondary schools in the United Kingdom. His areas of interest include the philosophy of education, distributive justice in political theory, non-ideal theory, and the principles of fairness in an educational context. Tom will be returning to the UK in the summer of 2014, where he will continue to contribute to the work of the Justice in Schools project.

Andree-Anne Cormier Headshot

Andrée-Anne Cormier

Andrée-Anne Cormier is a PhD student in philosophy at the University of Montreal and currently a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). She is interested in understanding what liberal-democratic justice requires in specific non-ideal educational contexts and what duties of justice liberal states have towards children/future citizens. More specifically, her dissertation explores the conditions under which it is morally acceptable for the state, and for civil servants, to exercise power over children’s education. Her goal is to develop a liberal-democratic account of ‘educational legitimacy’, which aims to specify (1) how authority over educational matters should be divided between parents and the state; and (2) under what conditions policy-makers’ and practitioners’ decisions in the domain of education can count as reasonable, i.e. legitimate although not necessarily ‘perfectly’ just. 

Chris Buttimer


Chris Buttimer is currently a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE).  His research interests include critical pedagogy, ethnic studies, and youth participatory action research, as well as teacher education and school reform.  Prior to coming to HGSE, Chris taught middle school English in the Cambridge Public Schools for 6 years.  Over the past few years, Chris has worked with the Boston Public Schools in a variety of roles, and he organizes with teachers, students, and community activists in the Greater Boston area through the teacher activist group, TAG Boston.  In addition, Chris provides professional development to Title I schools in MA around disciplinary literacy.  Chris earned an Ed.M. in teacher education from UMass Boston in 2006 and an Ed.M. in language and literacy from HGSE in 2010.