Michele Moses
Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs • Associate Dean for Graduate Studies • Professor
EFPP: Educational Foundations, Policy & Practice • Master's in Higher Education

School of Education, Room 240
University of Colorado Boulder
249 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309

Michele Moses is Professor of Educational Foundations, Policy and Practice, faculty fellow of the Center for Values and Social Policy and the National Center for Education Policy, and affiliate faculty of Ethnic Studies and of Women’s and Gender Studies. She has served as Associate Dean for Graduate Studies of the School of Education since 2011.

Professor Moses is a philosopher of education who is centrally concerned with education policy studies, especially as related to race, ethnicity, and equality of educational opportunity. Her research has investigated the roots of the political debates over race-conscious policies that profoundly affect meaningful opportunities for higher education, with a focus on the nature of persistent moral disagreement over affirmative action. She has studied how college access and outreach programs affect low income students’ social capital and social contexts of choice, and is currently working on philosophical/empirical research into the moral tensions around movements to opt out of different aspects of public education, and on philosophical work on what makes a disagreement “reasonable.”

Although her work primarily has used philosophical inquiry, she has used both quantitative and qualitative methods when the research questions have warranted broader inquiry and analyses. For example, she has conducted research concerned with how voters understand race-conscious education policy, which used both survey research and qualitative interview and media content analyses. 

Professor Moses teaches courses such as Higher Education in the US, Theoretical Issues in Education Policy, Philosophy of Education, and Gender Issues in Education.

Her work has appeared in journals such as American Educational Research Journal, Educational ResearcherHarvard Educational Review, and Journal of Social Philosophy. She has presented her work in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Switzerland, and the United States. In addition, Dr. Moses is the author of Embracing Race: Why We Need Race-Conscious Education Policy (Teachers College Press, 2002), co-editor of Affirmative Action Matters: Creating Opportunities for Students around the World (Routledge, 2014), and Living with Moral Disagreement: The Enduring Controversy about Affirmative Action (University of Chicago Press, 2016).

Professor Moses’ editorial experience includes a current term as Associate Editor for Educational Theory, a term as Associate Editor for the Section on Social and Institutional Analysis of the American Educational Research Journal, Reviews Editor for the Journal of Philosophy of Education, and the Editorial Advisory Board Member of Education Policy Analysis Archives. She currently serves on AERA’s Executive Board, AERA Council, and as a fellow of the National Education Policy Center.

PCL Construction: Faculty of the Game Feature

Professor Moses is a fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) (2015). She was awarded CU-Boulder’s Hazel Barnes prize (2016), AERA’s Early Career Award (2009) as well as Fulbright Specialist and New Century Scholar awards, AERA Division J’s Outstanding Publication (best article in 2007), AERA Committee on Scholars of Color in Education’s Early Career Contribution Award, and a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship.

(For complete list of publications, please see the faculty member's curriculum vitae.)


Moses, M. S., Paguyo, C. & Maeda, D. J. (2016). After Fisher: Affirmative Action and Asian American Students. The Conversation. July 14, 2016.  Reprinted in SFGate.com and HigherEdJobs.com.

Moses, M. S. (2016, June 27). Op-Ed in Views, Fisher and Democratic Dialogue. Inside Higher Ed.

Moses, M. S. (2015). Nonideal Theory and Philosophy of Education: Considering What Is While Working toward What Ought to Be. Educational Theory 65(2): 107-110.

Moses, M. S., Saenz, L. P., and Farley, A. N. (2015). The Central Role of Philosophy in a Study of Community Dialogues. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 34(2): 193-203. DOI: 10.1007/s11217-014-9416-5.

Jenkins, L. D. and Moses, M. S. (2014) Affirmative Action Initiatives Around the World. International Higher Education, 77(Fall 2014): 5-6. http://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/ihe/issue/view/615.

Moses, M. S. and Jenkins, L. D. (2014). Affirmative Action Should Be Viewed in Global Context. The Conversation. November 13, 2014. http://bit.ly/1zW4fNL.

Farley, A. N., Gaertner, M. N., and Moses, M. S. (2013). Democracy under Fire: Voter Confusion and Influences in Colorado’s Anti-Affirmative Action Initiative. Harvard Educational Review, 83(3), pp. 432-462.

Moses, M. S. and Rogers, J. (2013). Enhancing a nation’s democracy through equitable schools. In Prudence L. Carter and Kevin G. Welner (Eds.), Closing the Opportunity Gap: What America Must Do to Give All Children an Even Chance. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Moses, M. S. and Saenz, L. P. (2012). When the Majority Rules: Ballot Initiatives, Race-Conscious Education Policy, and the Public Good. Review of Research in Education, 36(1), pp. 134-159: Education, Citizenship and the Public Good, edited by Kathryn Borman, Arnold Danzig, and David R. Garcia.

Moses, M. S. (2011). Race, Affirmative Action, and Equality of Educational Opportunity in a So-Called “Post-Racial” America. Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy, 20(3). 20 Kan. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 413.        

Moses, M. S. and Farley, A. N. (2011). Are Ballot Initiatives a Good Way to Make Education Policy?: The Case of Affirmative Action. Educational Studies, 47(3), 260-279.

Moses, M. S. (2010). Moral and Instrumental Rationales for Affirmative Action in Five National Contexts. Educational Researcher, 39(3), pp. 211-228.

Moses, M. S., Yun, J. T., and Marin, P. (2009). Affirmative Action’s Fate: Are 20 More Years Enough? Education Policy Analysis Archives, 17(17). 

Moses, M. S. and Saenz, L. P. (2008). Hijacking Education Policy Decisions: The Case of Affirmative Action. Harvard Educational Review, 78(2): 289-310.

Moses, M. S., Marin, P. and Yun, J. T. (2008, October 10). Ballot Initiatives that Oppose Affirmative Action Hurt All Students. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Moses, M. S. and Nanna, M. J. (2007). The Testing Culture and the Persistence of High Stakes Testing Reforms. Education and Culture, 23(1), pp. 55-72.

Moses, M. S. and Saenz, L. P. (2006, November 3). In Views, The Information Gap on Affirmative Action. Inside Higher Ed.

Moses, M. S. (2006). The diversity rationale: The intellectual roots of an ideal. Philosophy & Public Quarterly, 26(3-4), 27-31.

Moses, M. S., & Chang, M.J. (2006). Toward a deeper understanding of the diversity rationale. Educational Research, 35(1), 6-11.

Moses, M. S. (2004). Contested ideals: Understanding moral disagreements over education policy. Journal of Social Philosophy, 35(4), 471-482.

Moses, M. S. (2002). The heart of the matter: Philosophy and educational research. Review of Research in Education, 26, 1-21.

Moses, M. S. (2001). Affirmative action and the creation of more favorable contexts of choice. American Educational Research Journal, 38(1), 3-36.

Moses, M. S. (2001). Why bilingual education policy is needed: A philosophical response to the criticsBilingual Research Journal, 24(4), 333-354.