Sean Steel


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Public School Educator

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PhD (University of Calgary)
Education;“The Pursuit of Wisdom in Education”; Philosophy in Education; Leisure/Schole in Education; Contemplative Education

MA (University of Calgary)
Political Science; Canadian Politics; Education Law; Constitutional Law; Family Law;
Political Philosophy

MA (McMaster University)
“Nietzsche’s Understanding of Socrates”; Religion and Politics; Western Thought & Philosophy

BEd (University of Calgary)
English Language Arts; Social Studies; Philosophy in the Classroom; Contemplative Education

BA (McMaster University)
“The Thought of George Grant”; World Religious Studies; Ancient and Modern Philosophy




Recent Publications
Teacher Education and the Pursuit of Wisdom: A Practical Guide for Education Philosophy Courses
Steel, S. (2018). Teacher education and the pursuit of wisdom: A practical guide for education philosophy courses. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing. Abstract: Teacher Education and the Pursuit of Wisdom takes its readers into the deep waters of investigating teaching not simply as a profession but as a precious “way of life.” The author begins by investigating the nature of teaching as both an “active...
Schooling for "Deep Knowing": On the Education of a Pithecanthropus Erectus
Humanitas, Vol. 29, No. 1 and 2, 133-155. This article examines what passes for high school education through a philosophic lens associated with Nietzsche, Plato, and Dionysian concerns. The essential claim in this article is that the Dionysian element of education has been sorely neglected ...
"Judicial Activism, State 'Neutrality' and their Effect on Religious Inquiry in Public Education in Canada — Part Two."
Education Law Journal 25, 1-30. This two-part paper examines the extent to which judicial decisions have affected the propensity of teachers and students to engage in religious inquiry in Canadian public schools. I argue that the courts, primarily at the appellate level, have used the...
Judicial Activism, State "Neutrality," and its Effects on the Religious Inquiry in Public Education throughout Canada (Part One)
Education Law Journal 24, 135-164. This two-part paper examines the extent to which judicial decisions have affected the propensity of teachers and students to engage in religious inquiry in Canadian public schools. I argue that the courts, primarily at the appellate level, have used the...
B. F. Skinner: Gnostic Pneumopath or Educator Extraordinaire?
Voegelinview. http://voegelinview.com/b-f-skinner-gnostic-pneumopath-or-educator-extraordinaire/ This study pursues the questions, “What conception of human nature is presented in B. F. Skinner’s educational theory of behaviourism? Is this understanding of human nature adequate, and what are the implications of such an understanding?” The use of...
The Birth of Dionysian Education (out of the Spirit of Music)? Part Two
Philosophy of Music Education Review. 23(1) 67-81 Although much has been written about Nietzsche's views on education over the years, and much has also been written about Dionysus, the god of wine and ecstasy, very little attention has been given to the meaning of, and need for, a Dionysian education...
On the High School Education of a Pithecanthropus Erectus
The High School Journal, Volume 98, Number 1, Fall 2014, pp. 5-21 This article examines our modern ways of schooling youth in light of philosophic and personal narrative accounts of "the Dionysian" aspect -- a term the author uses to understand his own experiences and aspirations as a high school English teacher...
Shamanic Daughters, Three-Minute Records, and “Deaducation” in Schools
Interchange: A Quarterly Review of Education. DOI: 10.1007/s10780-014-9217-3. This article examines the meaning of transformative education by inviting readers to consider the relationship between shamanism, shamanic experience, teaching, and education. Where academic literature on this topic most commonly points to the similarities...
"The Birth of Dionysian Education (out of the Spirit of Music)? Part One"
Philosophy of Music Education Review, 22(1): 38-60. DOI: 10.2979/philmusieducrevi.22.1.38 Although much has been written about Nietzsche's views on education over the years, and much has also been written about Dionysus, the god of wine and ecstasy, very little attention has been given to the meaning of, and need for, a Dionysian education...
The Pursuit of Wisdom and Happiness in Education: Historical Sources and Contemplative Practices
Albany: SUNY Press Explores the nature and role of wisdom in education. Modern scholarship has struggled to come to terms with the meaning of wisdom and its significance in the field of education. This book examines the importance of pursuing wisdom in schools by turning...
"On the Need for Dionysian Education in Schools Today"
Educational Theory, 64(2) 123-141. Although much has been written about Nietzsche's views on education over the years, and much has also been written about Dionysus, god of wine and ecstasy, very little attention has been given to the meaning of, and need for, Dionysian education....
"Katabasis in the Setting of Plato's Symposium Revisited" (Parts 1 to 3)
Anamnesis: A Journal for the Study of Tradition, Place, and Things Divine. http://anamnesisjournal.com/2014/01/katabasis-setting-platos-symposium-revisited-part-1/ This article revisits a strand of Plato scholarship on the nature of wisdom's pursuit that began ten years ago. In the original 2004 article by this author, attention was drawn to how "descent" or katabasis imagery is replete throughout...
"Contemplation as a Corrective to Technological Education."
Canadian Journal of Education 36(3) 458-480. This paper argues that “noetic studies,” contemplation, or theoria ought to take greater precedence in education than is currently the case. Our modern focus on and fascination with information technologies serves in many ways to thwart and to discourage...
"Transformative Education? A Philosophic-Augustinian Response to the 2010 Albertan Reform Initiatives in 'Inspiring Education'."
Interchange: A Quarterly Review of Education. DOI: 10.1007/s10780-012-9171-x. (43:1) 43-55. The Alberta Government's 2010 "Inspiring Education" reform proposals claim to be "transformational" in nature. This paper examines these proposals in light of ancient philosophy and various among the world’s wisdom traditions....
"Recovering Ancient and Medieval Contemplative Taxonomies as an Alternative to Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives."
Paideusis (20:2) 46-56 Bloom’s taxonomy has become a pedagogical orthodoxy in schools. This paper challenges Bloom’s assumptions about thinking (the cognitive domain) and willing (the affective domain). A careful examination of ancient and medieval understandings—and of Thomas...
"Recovering Ancient Wisdom and the 2010 Albertan Education Reforms"
Journal of Educational Thought (45:3) 267-291. This paper critically examines the Government of Alberta’s 2010 “Inspiring Education” Report in light of insights drawn from ancient philosophy and some of the world’s wisdom traditions. This paper challenges the contention made throughout the Report...
“Katabasis in Plato’s Symposium”
Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy (31:1) 59-83. Most of the scholarship on Plato's Symposium attends to the upward movement of the dialectic towards wisdom and knowledge that occurs in the dialogue through the speeches. This article begins a strand of scholarship intended to unfurl the importance...