Profile of a professor: Dr. Jane Blanken-Webb, Education


Steffen Horwath

Dr. Jane Blanken-Webb

Music. Education. Philosophy.

Each of these items hold a special place in the life of Dr. Jane Blanken-Webb, an assistant professor of graduate education specializing in the philosophical and social foundations of education.

Blanken-Webb is originally from Illinois and did her undergraduate studies at Northern Illinois University.  She earned a masters, and later a Ph.D., at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

For years she was passionate about both music and education, so she majored in music education with a minor in philosophy.

However, the course of her studies took a slight turn.

“I have had a love for music before I even started my undergrad,” Blanken Webb said.

“Music was the most profound thing I knew at the time, and to be able to give that amazing gift to people was the ultimate skill. I couldn’t think of doing anything better than that.

“I taught high school band for four years while I worked on my master’s degree, and while doing so I got the chance to take a course in the philosophy of education.

Blanken-Webb enjoyed the suject matter so much, she decided to take her education even further.

“It was a difficult change, but it was definitely worth my while,” she said.

Besides her passion for education, Blanken-Webb is quite fond of the study of philosophy. This allows her to expressher interest in the subject’s ability to discern big, complex concepts and ideas.

Apart from her specialization in the philosophy of education as a whole, Blanken-Webb is a John Dewey scholar and is very interested in cybersecurity education as well as social justice education.

John Dewey was a prominent philosopher and psychologist, known for his work with education.

“A lot of my research is grounded of the works of John Dewey, his work on aesthetics, education, ethics, and the intersection of them all,” she said.

Before joining the Wilkes community, she held a postdoc at the at the University of Eastern Finland, where she worked on a grant which involved citizenship education.

More recently, she completed additional postdoctoral research at the Information Trust Institute in the University of Illinois.

Here, Blanken-Webb’s research contributed to the developing of the cybersecurity ethics curriculum for the students at the university.

She is also one of the newest member of Wilkes University flute ensemble and has been an avid flute player for years.