Sigal Ben-Porath


Education, Culture, and Society Division

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania

Phone: 215-898-3288


Professional Biography

Dr. Ben-Porath received her doctorate in political philosophy from Tel Aviv University in 2000. She was awarded two successive Tel Aviv University President’s postdoctoral grants.  In 2001-2004 she was a postdoctoral research associate at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University.

In Israel, she served on a joint Palestinian-Israeli committee, sponsored by the Peres Peace Center, working toward educational reform. She was a member of the Young Scholars Forum at the Rabin Center for the Study of Israel, participated in the Women Faculty Forum at Tel-Aviv University, and established the Israeli Association for Post-Secondary Education for Students with Learning Disabilities. 

At Penn she served as a special assistant to Penn's president. She is an executive committee member of the Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship and Constitutionalism.

Dr. Ben-Porath has been teaching at Penn GSE since 2004. In 2012-13 she was affiliated with the Safra Center for Ethics at Tel Aviv University.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Ben-Porath’s research focuses on citizenship education, normative aspects of educational and social policy, and social effects of war. Her areas of expertise include philosophy of education and political philosophy. Her books include Citizenship under Fire: Democratic Education in Times of Conflict (2006) and Tough Choices: Structured Paternalism and the Landscape of Choice (2010), both with Princeton University Press. She is currently at work on a book on School Choice and another one on the Politics of Education Reform.

Selected Publications

Ben-Porath, S.R. Deferring virtue: The new management of students and the civic role of schools. Theory and Research in Education, July 2013.

Ben-Porath, S.R. School choice and educational opportunity: Rationales, outcomes and racial disparities. Theory and Research in Education, July 2013.

Ben-Porath, S. R., & Smith, R. M. (Eds.) Varieties of sovereignty and citizenship. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012.

Ben-Porath, S.R.Citizenship as Shared Fate: Educating for Membership in a Diverse Democracy. Educational Theory 62(4), August 2012.

Ben-Porath, S.R. Defending rights in (Special) Education. Educational Theory 61(1), February 2012.

Ben-Porath, S.R. Wartime citizenship: An argument for shared fate. Ethnicities 11(3), September 2011.

Ben-Porath, S. Exit Rights and Entrance Paths: Accommodating Cultural Diversity in a Liberal Democracy Perspectives on Politics 8(4): 1021-1033, December 2010.

Ben-Porath, S. R. Tough Choices: Structured Paternalism and the Landscape of Choice Princeton University Press 2010.

Ben-Porath, S. R. School choice as a bounded idealJournal of Philosophy of Education 2010.

Ben-Porath, S.R. Care Ethics and Dependence – Rethinking Jus Post BellumHypatia 23(2), Spring 2008 

Ben-Porath, S.R. Civic Virtue Out of Necessity: Patriotism and Democratic Education. Theory and Research in Education, March 2007.

Ben-Porath, S.R. Citizenship under Fire: Democratic Education in Times of Conflict Princeton University Press 2006.