Dr Andrea R. English (SFHEA)

Senior Lecturer — Chancellor's Fellow in Philosophy of Education


Prior to becoming Chancellor's Fellow, I had been teaching and researching in philosophy of education  for more than ten years, including at universities in Canada and Germany, in both teacher education and graduate education programmes. I received my doctorate from Humboldt University Berlin in Germany.

New book:  Waks, L. J. and English, A. R. (eds.): John Dewey's Democracy and Education: A Centennial Handbook. New York: Cambridge UP, 2017. 

Book: Discontinuity in Learning: Dewey, Herbart and Education as Transformation. New York: Cambridge UP, 2013.

Responsibilities & affiliations

I am on the Board of Directors of The John Dewey Society.

I am Associate Editor of Dewey Studies. 

I lead the international research network on Listening in Education: "Listening Study Group".

I am head of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain-Edinburgh Branch. For Branch Events, including our Seminar Series & Branch Conferences, visit the PESGB website.

I am Coordinator of the Philosophy of Education Research Group at the Moray House School of Education: https://www.ed.ac.uk/education/rke/centres-groups/perg


Undergraduate teaching

I have designed or co-designed and implemented the following undergraduate (ITE) courses:

  • Philosophy of Education: An Introduction
  • Advanced Philosophy of Education
  • Learners, Learning and Interdisciplinarity (MA-Primary Education)

Guest Lecturer

  • "Research with Children: Listening as Researcher and Teacher," (Bachelor of Education Programme)

Postgraduate teaching

I have designed or co-designed and taught the following postgraduate courses:

  • Ethics, Epistemology and Education (MSc Education, Philosophy of Education Pathway)
  • Post-Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice: Foundations of Academic Practice-Part 2: 'Promoting active and engaged student learning'
  • John Dewey, Uncertainty and Education
  • Critical Thinking and Educational Ideals
  • Issues in Teaching and Learning: Negative Experience and Education
  • Lehren, Lernen, Negativitaet 

Guest Lecturer

  • "Learning from Failure", in An introduction to Digital Games Based Learning (Digital Education Programme)
  • "Virtue Epistemology," in The Nature of Enquiry (MSc Educational Research)
  • "Listening and Inclusion" (MSc Inclusive Education Programme)
  • "Group Work" in Engaging with Student Diversity (PGCAP-Institute for Academic Development)
  • "Critical Theory", in The Nature of Inquiry (MSc Educational Research)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Current PhD students supervised

  • Diana Murdoch- An exploration of the phenomenon of inclusive education in the life-world of young people, their families and their teachers in a Scottish secondary school
  • Aline Nardo- Evolution and Education
  • Sue Chapman-Self-cultivation in Teaching
  • Felix Penzias -The learning Journey (External Supervisor, Masters thesis, University of Vienna)

Past PhD students supervised

  • Christine Mavroupoula: 'Well-being, open-mindedness and virtue in education'

Research summary

My work focuses on theories of learning and teaching, with particular attention to notions of struggle in learning,  inquiry-based learning, critical thinking, moral and social learning, listeningdialogue and reflective practice. My central interest is in analysing human experiences of limitation, which can arise in the form of struggle, uncertainty, fear, or felt resistance.  I have referred to these moments as moments of "discontinuity in learning". My work is informed by traditions of phenomenology, pragmatism (especially John Dewey) and critical theory.

My current collaborative research (with Allison Hintz, U. of Wash; Kersti Tyson, U. New Mexico) on teacher listening in the context of primary school mathematics discussions is supported by The Spencer Foundation. This research is informed by philosophical as well as qualitative studies. 

I also work in cooperation with local schools to develop young people's critical thinking capacity. The project is entitled "Critical Thinking for Children and Youth (CTCY)". 

Upcoming and Recent Talks

"Transformation in Teaching: A Deweyan Perspective,"  Kyoto, Japan, 2017

"What is Transformation?: Crossing Boundaries, Understanding transformation for teachers" Strathclyde, 2017


"Discontinuity in Learning as a Lens for Analysing Student Learning in the Context of Moral Education: A Qualitative Study for ETiK-International-Edinburgh", Warsaw, Nov. 2015.

"Opening Address" for 'Ethics, Education and Teaching: Perspectives on Teaching in Contemporary Society' Conference, Edinburgh, Oct. 2015

"Humility and Empathy in Teaching" Humility and Education Workshop, Philosophy Dept., Edinburgh, May, 2015

"Discovering our Blind Spots: Dialogic Teaching and Group Learning", at the Extended Knowledge Conference, Edinburgh, April 2015.

"Dialogic Teaching and Moral Learning: Self-Critique, Narrativity, Cummunity and "Blind Spots" at the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain Annual Conference 2015, Oxford, March 2015.

"Discontinuity in Learning: Dewey, Herbart, and Education as Transformation," Book Talk at the Cross-Institute Seminar Series, February 2015.

"Discontinuity in Teaching and the Role of Philosophy in the Education of Teachers," at the Research in Teacher Education Network, January 2015.

Research activities

View all 28 activities on Research Explorer

View all 38 publications on Research Explorer