Assistant Professor


Individual Research Interests

Phenomenology (e.g. Folk Phenomenology, Heidegger, Marion)
Latin/American philosophy of education (e.g., Ivan Illich, Paulo Freire, William James)
Philosophical theology (e.g., liberation theology, illumination theology, political theology)
Philosophy of love (e.g. eros, desire, intuition)
Art and Art Education
Curriculum Theory
Humanities Based Research in Education

Research Supervision Interests

Primary area of supervision: philosophy of education including, but not limited to: Continental philosophy of education, phenomenological research in education, philosophical theology and education, philosophy of race and education, and Latin American philosophy of education.

Other areas of supervision: humanities-based educational research in the following areas: curriculum theory or curriculum studies, art education, educational psychology, and poetic and literary studies.

Also willing to serve on committees of wide general interest including, but not limited to: (post) qualitative social scientific studies, history of education, cultural studies, and higher education and leadership.

Prospective students wishing to study philosophy of education at the master’s level may apply to the M.A. degree in Educational Studies, concentration in Society, Culture, Politics and Education (SCPE), or to the M.Ed. degree in SCPE. For doctoral level study, apply to the Ph.D. degree in Educational Studies. Applicants interested in philosophical or humanistic studies may request to work with me. 


Samuel D. Rocha was born in Brownsville, Texas in 1982. Rocha attended Franciscan University of Steubenville as an undergraduate, completing a B.A. in philosophy and Spanish literature as a Gates Millennium Scholar in 2005.  Rocha worked for one year at Transfiguration Catholic School as a Spanish teacher and explored corporate positions at Target and Medtronic for another year while completing an M.A. in Educational Leadership at the University of St. Thomas as a Gates Fellow in 2007. From 2007 to 2010, Rocha completed an M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy of education at Ohio State University as a Gates Fellow. His dissertation, “Education, Study, and the Person,” received the Loadman Dissertation Award. From 2010 to 2012, Rocha was appointed the Owen Duston Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Teacher Education at Wabash College, in Crawfordsville, Indiana. From 2012 to 2014, Rocha was appointed Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations and Research at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Since 2014, Rocha is Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Education at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. He has also been a Member of the Common Room at Green College and Pastoral Philosopher-in-Residence at St. Mark’s College while at UBC. In 2014 he published the second edition of A Primer for Philosophy and Education with Cascade Books; in 2015 it won the American Educational Studies Association Critics Choice Book Award. In 2014, he released Late to Love, an Augustinian soul album, with Wiseblood Records. In 2016 he released Fear and Loving, a soundscape companion album to his 2015 book, Folk Phenomenology: Education, Study, and the Human Person, published by Pickwick Publications. In 2015, his essay “A Tales of Three Cubicles” won the Outstanding Contribution Award from Visual Arts Research. In 2017, Rocha published, Tell Them Something Beautiful: Essays and Ephemera with Cascade Books and released a single, “A Todo Var.” Rocha has served as the president of the Society for the Philosophical Study of Education and is Communications Director of the Philosophy of Education Society, book review editor for Studies in Philosophy and Education, and a member of the Theory and History of Education International Research Group. His notions of pastoral philosophy and folk phenomenology continue to grow and evolve in his writing and teaching. He is committed to preserving the research and scholarship of the humanities in the field of education. Rocha has played music and/or lectured at institutions including The Old Town School of Folk Music (Chicago), Sheen Center for Thought and Culture (New York), Teachers College at Columbia University (New York), New York University (New York), Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at University of Toronto (Toronto), The Empire Arts Center (Grand Forks, ND), University of Manitoba (Winnipeg), Saint Thomas University (Fredericton), Depauw University (Greencastle, IN), Seattle Pacific Art Center (Seattle), University of Bergen (Norway), and many more. In 2018, Rocha will visit the University of Wisconsin-Madison as the Carl A. Grant Lecture Scholar.


The Ohio State University, 2010, Ph.D
The Ohio State University, 2009, MA
University of Saint Thomas, 2007, MA
Franciscan University of Steubenville, 2005, BA

Selected Publications


Rocha, S. D. (2017). Tell Them Something Beautiful: Essays and Ephemera, Eugene, OR: Cascade Books.

Rocha, S. D. (2015). Folk Phenomenology: Education, Study and the Human Person, Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications.

Rocha, S. D. (2014). A Primer for Philosophy and Education, Eugene, OR: Cascade Books. (Winner of the 2015 AESA Critic’s Choice Award)

Selected Chapters:

Rocha, S. D. (2017). Tears at the eye doctor. In Travis, S., Kraehe, A. M, Hood, E., and Lewis T. (Eds.), Pedagogies in the flesh: Teaching, learning, and the embodiment of sociocultural differences in education. Bloomsbury.

Rocha, S. D. and Clegg, D. (2017). Thought and study: The rigour of having an idea. In Ruitenberg, C. (Ed.),  Reconceptualizing study in educational discourse and practice. Routledge.

Rocha, S. D. (2017), History and philosophy of education as ‘pre qualitative’ educational research. In Errante, A. and Blount, J. (Eds.), The relationship and need of philosophy and history of education. Rowman and Littlefield.

Rocha, S. D. (2015). The blue soul of jazz: Teaching on waves of anguish. In T. Lewis and M. Laverty, (Eds.), Art’s Teaching, Teaching’s Art. New York: Springer.

Selected Articles:

Rocha, S.D. and Burton, A. (2017). “The eros of the meal: Passover, Communion, education.” Encounters in Theory and History of Education, 4. 119-132.

Rocha, S.D. and Burton, A (2016). “Strong as death is love”: Eros and education at the end of time. Espacio, Tiempo y Educación 4(1), 1-12.

Rocha, S.D. (2016), “Folk phenomenology and the offering of teaching,” Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 13:2, 121-135.

Rocha, S.D. (2016), “Education as Mystery: The Enchanting Hope of Desire,” Educational Philosophy and Theory 48:8, 811-826.

Rocha, S.D. (2016). Lines of tension, Rays of light: An autotheography. In Duarte, E. (Ed.), Philosophy of Education 2015 (58 66). Urbana, IL: Philosophy of Education Society (2013 Annual Meeting of the Philosophy of Education Society, Portland, OR, March 14-18).

Rocha, S.D. (2015). Kinship, analogy, and experiment: A collage. Curriculum and Pedagogy, 12:3, 241-251.

Rocha, S.D. (2015). A tale of three cubicles. Visual Arts Research. 32-42. (2015 Outstanding Contribution Award from the journal Visual Art Research)

Rocha, S. D. (2014). Educación de carne y hueso, education of flesh and bone: Variations on a folk melody. Lápiz: Journal of the Latin American Philosophy of Education Society, No. 1, 66-77.

Rocha, S. D. (2014). Incarnate reading: A cerebralist, cows, cannibals, and back again. In C. Mayo (ed.), Philosophy of education 2013 (pp. 120-128). Urbana, IL: Philosophy of Education Society.

Rocha, S. D. (2013). Unscientific science and the insignificance of significance: James, Kuhn, and Flyrberg. InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, 9(2), 1-20.

Rocha, S. D. (2013). Compulsory schooling as preventative defense. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 32(6), 613-621.

Rocha, S. D. (2012). Erotic study: Fortune, baby-talk, and jazz. In C. Ruitenberg (ed.), Philosophy of education 2012 (pp. 63-71). Urbana, IL: Philosophy of Education Society.

Rocha, S. D. (2012), Who gets to be a philosopher? Dewey, democracy, and democratic identity. Philosophical Studies in Education, 62-72.

Rocha, S. D. (2009). A return to love in William James and Jean-Luc Marion, Educational Theory, 59(5), 579 – 588.

Selected Reviews:

Santoro, D. A. and Rocha, S. D. (2015). Review of Gert Biesta, The Beautiful Risk of Education, Studies in Philosophy and Education, 34(4), 413-418.

Rocha, S. D. (2013). Review of Eduardo M. Duarte, Being and Learning: A Poetic Phenomenology of Education, Studies in Philosophy and Education, 32(5), 551-557.

Rocha, S. D. (2012). Review of Michael Ehrmantraut, Heidegger’s Philosophic Pedagogy, Educational Philosophy and Theory, 44(5), 568 – 570.

Rocha, S. D. (2011). Review of Jorge Gracia, Latinos in America, Journal of Philosophy of Education, 45(3), 581 – 583.