Dr Andrea R English (SFHEA)

Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion / Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor)


I have been teaching and researching in philosophy of education for more than fifteen years. Prior to coming to the University of Edinburgh as a Chancellor's Fellow in Philosphy of Education in 2014, I taught at Mount Saint Vincent University, Canada and Humboldt Universit Berlin, Germany, in both teacher education and graduate education programmes. I received my doctorate from Humboldt University Berlin in Germany.

Recent Books and Articles

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Board of Directors of The John Dewey Society.
  • Associate Editor of Dewey Studies. 
  • Lead the international research network on Listening in Education: "Listening Study Group".
  • Lead the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain-Edinburgh Branch. For Branch Events, including our Seminar Series & Branch Conferences, visit the PESGB website.
  • Teacher Education Coordinator for the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain 
  • 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
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator for the Moray House School of Education

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:

  • Inclusive Pedagogy (MSc Inclusive Education Programme)
  • 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

  • Amambo Essien: John Dewey's educational theory in the context of the education of girls in Nigeria

Past PhD students supervised

  • Christine Mavroupoula: 'Well-being, open-mindedness and virtue in education'
  • 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'
  • Felix Penzias -'The learning Journey' (External Supervisor, Masters thesis, University of Vienna)

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" in my 2013 book of the same title. My work is informed by traditions of phenomenology, pragmatism (especially John Dewey) and critical pedagogy.

Keynotes and Invited Talks (selected)

  • "Dialogic Teaching and Moral Learning", at the Conference on Relationality in Education of/towards Morality, Travna University, Slovakia, 2018
  • "Transformation in Teaching: A Deweyan Perspective,"  University of Kyoto, Japan, 2017
  • "What is Transformation?: Crossing Boundaries, Understanding transformation for teachers" University of 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.
  • "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.



Project activity

My continuing collaborative research (with Dr Allison Hintz, U. of Wash; Dr Kersti Tyson, U. New Mexico) on "Pedagogical Listening" in the context of primary school mathematics discussions was supported by The Spencer Foundation and by a grant from The University of Edinburgh. 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. 

View all 39 publications on Research Explorer