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: humanistic 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. I am currently accepting students at the M.Ed., M.A., and Ph.D. levels.


Sam Rocha was born in Brownsville, Texas, and raised in a lay Catholic missionary family, living in the states of Texas, Utah, Ohio and also Reynosa, Mexico. He attended the Baylor Debate Institute in the summer of 1998, where he discovered and fell in love with philosophy. His religious roots in the charismatic renewal movement took him to Franciscan University of Steubenville where he completed undergraduate studies in philosophy and Spanish literature as a Gates Millennium Scholar in 2005.

After graduating, he 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 a Master of Arts at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota as a Gates Fellow in 2007. From 2007 to 2010 he completed doctoral studies in philosophy of education at the Ohio State University as a Gates Fellow; his dissertation, “Education, Study, and the Person,” received the Loadman Dissertation Award. 

From 2010 to 2012 he was appointed Owen Duston Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Teacher Education at Wabash College, in Crawfordsville, Indiana, where he also coached the college rugby club to a conference championship and became an honorary member of the Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies. From 2012 to 2014 he served as Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations and Research at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Presently he is Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Education at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada, where he is also a member of the Green College Common Room and a Pastoral Philosopher in Residence at St. Mark’s College.

Rocha is the immediate past president of the Society for the Philosophical Study of Education, Communications Director of the Philosophy of Education Society, book review editor for Studies in Philosophy and Education, and editor of the Patheos Catholic Channel. 


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. (in press). 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 Chapter:

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. (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. (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.