Sigal Ben-Porath


Literacy, Culture, and International Education 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.

While in Israel, she served on a joint Palestinian-Israeli committee sponsored by the Peres Peace Center, working toward educational reform. Dr. Ben-Porath 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. 

Dr. Ben-Porath has been teaching at Penn GSE since 2004. At Penn, she served as a special assistant to the university president. She is an executive committee member of the Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship and Constitutionalism. From 2012-2013 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. 

Selected Publications

McGinn, K., & Ben-Porath, S. (2014, July). School choice and parental engagement: Some reasons for caution. Theory and Research in Education12(2), 172-192.

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

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

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

Ben-Porath, S.R.: (2012, August). Citizenship as shared fate: Educating for membership in a diverse democracy. Educational Theory, 62(4).

Ben-Porath, S.R. (2012, February). Defending rights in (special) education. Educational Theory61(1). 

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

Ben-Porath, S. (2010, December). Exit rights and entrance paths: Accommodating cultural diversity in a liberal democracy. Perspectives on Politics, 8(4), 1021-1033.

Ben-Porath, S. R. (2010). Tough choices: Structured paternalism and the landscape of choice. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Ben-Porath, S.R. (2010). School choice as a bounded ideal. Journal of Philosophy of Education.

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

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

Ben-Porath, S.R. (2006). Citizenship under fire: Democratic education in times of conflict. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.