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Dr. Michelle Forrest


Office: Seton 441
Phone: (902) 457-6241
Fax:  (902) 457-4911


Research and Teaching Interests

  • collaborative curriculum implementation
  • philosophy across the curriculum
  • philosophy for children
  • values and music education
  • narrative and teacher education
  • aesthetics and the arts in values education
  • philosophy and teacher education
  • art as methodology in educational research
  • aesthetics for teachers
  • controversy in the classroom
  • conceptualizing communicative competence in a digital age
  • reader-response theory
  • bias and media literacy


I was born in Halifax, grew up in Dartmouth and live in Terence Bay and Windsor, Nova Scotia.  I graduated with a B.A. in English and Philosophy from Mount Saint Vincent University before beginning a career as a singer.

I was awarded Portia White bursuries from the Nova Scotia Talent Trust which supported my studies in London, England with Yvonne Newman, contralto with the BBC Singers, formerly of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, and with Frederick Sharp, former baritone with the English National Opera.  I received an Associateship from the Royal College of Music (AGRM), and a Licentiate in drama and stagecraft at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (LGSM) where I studied with noted West End actor, Susan Ford.  I premiered two song cycles in London - “A Selection of Songs” by Rosalee Coopman of London, and “Three Songs” by the Canadian composer James MacDonald Gayfer.

My interest in Russian song led me to Russian Studies at Dalhousie University, Halifax and the Pushkin Institute of Russian Language, Moscow, where I received a certificate in Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy.  In Moscow, I performed a concert of Russian song at the Lenin State Pedagogical Institute and an evening of Canadian Folk Songs at the Canadian Embassy.

I took a B.Ed. degree at Dalhousie University, and taught English and Drama for seven years in Nova Scotia public and independent schools systems.  My graduate studies in Education at Dalhousie were under the supervision of Dr. William Hare.  I wrote a Master’s thesis on bias and media literacy and a doctoral dissertation on the ‘open’ art-work and its implications for open-mindedness.

I taught for four years in the School of Education at Acadia University (1997-2001) and have taught at Mount Saint Vincent since 2001 in the B.Ed. and Graduate Educational Foundations programmes.

I have been a member of the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society since 1991 and have served in several capacities: as managing editor for the Society’s journal, Paideusis (1998-2002), as guest editor of a special issue (18: 1, 2009) in honour of William Hare, and as CPES President (2010-2012).

In May 2010 my article “Sensitive Controversy in Teaching to be Critical”* won The Canadian Association of Foundations of Education Publications Award, given in recognition of peer reviewed articles that have made a major contribution to knowledge in the disciplines that fall under the rubric of the foundations of education.

In addition to my solo work, I am a founding member of a research trio called The (1+1+1) Collective.  My co-founders and current members are Miriam Cooley (U. of Alberta) and Linda Wheeldon (Acadia).  We are three artists and scholars in education who use art as our methodology.  We publish work on the artistic process and on the role of chance in research and collaboration.

A Selection of Publications, Installations & Presentations:



  • Forrest, M. (2013). Practising Silence in Teaching. Journal of Philosophy of Education 47: 4, 605-622.
  • Forrest, M. (2011). Justifying the Arts: the Value of Illuminating Failures. Journal of Philosophy of Education 45: 1, 59-73.
  • Forrest, M., Cooley, M. & Wheeldon, L. (2010). Mapping the movement of invention: collaboration as rhizome in teaching and research. Power and Education 2: 1, 31-47. 
  • Forrest, M., Keener, T. & Harkins, M.J. (2010). Understanding narrative relations in teacher education. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education 38: 2, 87-101.
  • Forrest, M. (2009a). Does Communicative Competence Need to be Re-conceptualized? The Journal of Thought 44: 1 & 2, 101-111.
  • Harkins, M.J., Forrest, M. & Keener, T. (2009). Room for fear: using our own personal stories in teacher education. Journal of Teaching and Learning 6: 1, 15-23.
  • Forrest, M. (2009b). Sensitive controversy in teaching to be critical. Paideusis 18: 1, 80-93.
  • The (1+1+1) Collective (2009a). Quite a Crowd. On-line video installation. Media: Culture: Pedagogy (formerly Educational Insights) 13: 2, npn.* (Artists’ statement included in file. Video viewable at:
  • The (1+1+1) Collective (2009c). Collaborative inquiry as illuminated manuscript. In Qualitative Research: Challenging the Orthodoxies in Standard Academic Discourse(s), Sandra Kouritzin, Nathalie Piquemal & Renée Norman, eds., New York: Routledge, 27-44.


  • Forrest, M., Wheeldon, L. & Bruneau, S. (May 2014). ‘Philosophelles’ in the Academy: Unique Contributions of Women Philosophers to Educational Studies. Canadian Philosophy of Education Society, CSSE, Brock University, St. Catherine’s Ont.
  • Wheeldon, L. & Forrest, M. (May 2014). Philosophy in the Footlights: Developmental Drama for Feminist Pedagogy in Teacher Education. Canadian Philosophy of Education Society, CSSE, Brock University, St. Catherine’s Ont.
  • Forrest, M., Wheeldon, L. & Bruneau, S. (June 2013). Conceptual Art for Community Inquiry. Canadian Philosophy of Education Society, CSSE, University of Victoria.
  • The (1+1+1) Collective (June 2012). Shifting the Weight: How might we learn together? International Human Science Research Conference, University of Quebec at Montreal, Montreal, PQ.
  • Forrest, M. (May 2012). Sonorous Voice and Feminist Pedagogy. Canadian Philosophy of Education Society, CSSE, Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Ont.
  • Forrest, M., Bruneau, S., & Wheeldon, L. (May 2012). MUSE OFF! Collective action in support of arts in education and research. Canadian Philosophy of Education Society, CSSE, Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Ont.
  • Forrest, M. (May 2011). Voice as Embodied Uniqueness: A Feminist Politics of the Voice in Collaborative Inquiry. Canadian Philosophy of Education Society, CSSE, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB.
  • Forrest, M. (Apr 2011). Absurdity in and for Education: A Philosophical Inquiry. Philosophical Studies in Education, AERA, New Orleans.
  • Forrest, M. (Apr 2010). Silence in a Community of Inquiry. Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, New College, Oxford.
  • The (1+1+1) Collective (May 2009). The Work of The (1+1+1) Collective. Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, CSSE, Carleton University, Ottawa.


  • Kerr, D., Hare, W. & Forrest, M. (in press). Philosophy of Education: What it is and why it matters in teacher education. In D. Mandzuk & S. Hasinoff (eds.) Case Studies in Foundations of Education: A Canadian Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Forrest, M. (2013). Philosophy of Education: Critical for Survival. In T.M. Cristou & S.M. Bullock (eds.) Foundations in Teacher Education: A Canadian Perspective. Ottawa: Canadian Association of Teacher Education, 74-85.
  • Forrest, M. (2013). Framing Conceptions of Teaching and Learning to Teach. In B. Griffith & D.J. Lovelace (eds.) The Interdependence of Teaching and Learning. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 308-330.
  • The (1+1+1) Collective (2009b). Cover art-work. Media: Culture: Pedagogy (formerly Educational Insights)13: 2, npn.
  • Forrest, M. (2003). Open-mindedness and media bias: education for insight. Journal of Thought 38: 2, 63-81. (special issue on open-mindedness) 

If you have interests related to mine, I would be pleased to hear from you!

Michelle Forrest