Jacob Fay is an advanced doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and graduate fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. His research focuses on the ethics of education policy and practice, as well as contemporary political theory. His dissertation develops a normative theory of injustice meant to shed light on pressing problems of education policy, a project comprised of three interrelated sections. The first section analyzes and synthesizes extant philosophical work in order to develop a promising substantive account of injustice. This account, however, lacks a worked-out methodological basis for theorizing injustice. Thus, the second section describes this more robust methodological approach, which I term an ecological approach. Finally, using contemporary disputes over school closure as a guide, the final section demonstrates how attending to claims of injustice through an ecological approach both reveals previously unrecognized normative dimensions of policy conflicts and further shapes a theoretical account of injustice. This account ultimately clarifies the importance of attending to injustice in education policy and provides new language to describe injustice to theorists, policymakers, students, and educators alike.
While at HGSE, he served as the cochair of the board of the Harvard Educational Review and was a member of the Spencer Foundation’s Philosophy of Education Institute. He is also currently a member of the Early Career Scholars Program that develops young scholars to work in the field of New Civics. He presents regularly at numerous conferences, including the Philosophy of Education Society and the American Educational Research Association.
Prior to his doctoral studies, Jacob taught eighth-grade history at the Dwight-Englewood School in New Jersey, where he helped develop the middle school's advisory program. He was recognized for his teaching both by the school's departmental award, the Ralph Sloan Fellowship, and by the Facing History and Ourselves Organization annual Margot Stern Strom Award. He holds an AB in history from Princeton University, an MA in American history from Brandeis University, an EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and is a proud graduate of the Shady Hill Teacher Training Course.