Theodore Christou

Associate Professor, Queen’s University


Exploring Educational History and Philosophy as a Way of Living

As the esteemed history educator Ken Osborne has noted, knowledge matters. What matters more is how we think about the knowledge that we acquire and use it to understand the world around us, past and present. What matters most is how we act and live. Knowing, thinking, and doing are framed here as nested, dimensions of what Pierre Hadot called a way of living. The paper will argue that technology, both as artefact and as concept, is yoked to notions of modernity and associated with technocratic conceptions of science and progress. Further, it will demonstrate that evidence-based practices drive research symposia and policy in teacher education, pre- and post-service, drawing on hard (quantitative) and soft (qualitative) research. Meanwhile historical, philosophical, and discursive research is associated with story-telling or, even theory, as it is understood in the pejorative sense within a professional field of studies. Lastly, it will outline a humanistic model for conceptualizing the work that teacher education can accomplish that draws primarily on the writings of Søren Kierkegaard and John Dewey.


Theodore Michael Christou is an Associate Professor of Social Studies and History at Queen’s University. He has authored three books exploring dimensions of educational history and philosophy, and edited two collections on the history, philosophy, and sociology of teacher education. Theodore has also authored two books of poetry and serves as the co-editor of the Canadian Journal of Education. He is a former classroom teacher, now involved in teacher education and graduate studies.